Wednesday, March 29, 2023

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Ver PathOndikol

On the 20th of March, on the feast of St. Wulfran, the Bishop, and others, the spring will begin and the winter will end, which in the region of Bidasoa has presented two snows quite fair compared to the custom of recent years. . It happened more recently, when Ash Wednesday and Lent were no longer what many of us knew.

In Lent, the word comes from the Latin forty days, it is 40 days before Easter, the time of the Christian calendar of spiritual preparation for the joy of Easter celebrated by almost all the churches of Europe and what is called the New World. Six weeks, each with a name (Ana, Badana, Rebeca, Susana, Lazaro, Ramos and … we are Easter!) according to an old proverb and a time of many prayers: “Garizuman sartu gara.” 40 egun, 40 Kredo, our Basque friend from Amaiur, Paskual Rekalde, just reminded us.

The cover of ‘Extrema tympanista de Erraondo’ in 1923

It is more than that, a period of recollection and purification, a quarantine applied in epidemics or sufferings to emigrants to the United States when they arrived by ship at Ellis Island, which was the gateway to American health. They gave Don Carnal and after the Ashes, that we are dusted and sprinkled after the carnival gatherings, vigils, fasting and abstinence came, on Fridays flesh is not touched.


It is a sign and an image of the relinquishment of earthly vanity, and among the old ashes the crops improved, in addition to the fact that, carried by the wind, the earth was fertilized by the rains. Until a century ago, ash in the foundations of a house was believed to protect against lightning, and it still plays an important role in religious rituals among Christians.

Perhaps this is the reason for the pastoral practice of setting fire to the mountain at this time in order to burn the beech (in Basque, oteak) and crush it with the intention that new grass will sprout for pasture.

a hundred years ago

These types of constitutions were much more deeply rooted and existed more than a hundred years ago, when the agricultural activity was greater among the people. It is enough to consult the newspapers and documents of a century ago, they recently arrived at the water, the service of houses, lighting and public telephone, of which the Baztan Valley can be proud to have one of the leading municipalities in Navarre. in public affairs. 

Clearly in February of 1923, the Provincial Council of Navarre appointed a representative with several regional representatives, the mayors of Pamplona, ​​Elizondo, Baztan, Doneztebe and several engineers. It was in that he called it “a question of great importance” and developed “a project of great interest”, connecting the basin of Pamplona and Bidasoa by operating a railway that connects Guipúzcoa with “that splendid country” because “the close trades of Cinco are more and more released. The towns, Baztán and Bertizarana and our chapter”. Again, Pamplona will destroy everything and useless.

Also this year, the Argentinian magazine Caras y Caretas will publish for the first time in America the work “El último tamborilero de Erraondo”, by Arturo Campión, the cover of the extraction signed by Sirio and based on the sad historical event of emigration. The Basque people. . De Campión is now the 140th anniversary of his intervention against Germán Gamazo and his gamazada which roused all Navarre.

And from that year, a century ago, and about emigration then in full swing, José Maria Salaverría also writes his short novel “Round Trip”, another one about emigration where his first friends were, namely two boys from Valle Baztan, who wanted to try his luck in They would be America. In Lent and the emigration, which seems to us the ultimate fate, before America and now nearer, but in the same destructive depopulation. It is what it is.

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