Category Archives: Basque Fact of the Week

Basque Fact of the Week: Argizaiolak, the Basque Funerary Candles

In many parts of the world, it is common to light a candle in remembrance of those who have died. In the Basque Country, this kind of tradition has taken its own special form. The argizaiola, literally translated as candle-board (from argizari — candle or wax and ohol — board), is a wooden board around […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Basque Farmhouse, or Baserri

One of the most unique and ubiquitous sites in the Basque Country are the rural dwellings that dot the mountainsides. With their red-roof tiling, their stone corners, and white-washed walls, they are an enduring symbol of the rural traditions of the Basque Country. Each baserri has its own name and, in the days before it […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Animals Unique to the Basque Country

Being part of Europe, the Basque Country naturally has flora and fauna similar to other parts of Europe. For example, as far as I can tell, there are no species of frogs unique to the Basque Country. However, just like the people themselves, the ruggedness and relative isolation of the mountainous region (along with some […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Miguel Indurain, One of the Greatest Cyclists Ever

Miguel Indurain Larraya is recognized as one of the greatest cyclists in the history of cycling. He is one of four people to win five Tours de France (Lance Armstrong‘s victories were stripped when he admitted to doping). Indurain holds the distinction, however, of being the only one to win his five Tours consecutively, winning […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Txalaparta

One of the primary ways in which Basques express their culture is through music, and a revival of folk instruments has been, pardon the pun, instrumental in developing a unique sound. Possibly one of the most unique and thus identifiable instruments is the txalaparta. In its simplest form, the txalaparta is simply a set of […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Basque has Mixed with Several Languages

Pidgins are languages that arise when two other languages come in contact. They are simplified languages to ease communication between two people that have otherwise very different languages, often to facilitate trade. As such, they are always second languages (never the mother-tongue of anyone). Given the extensive and often commercial travel of Basques, it is […]