Today is the Monday after Easter Sunday, when we Basques celebrate the Aberri Eguna, or Day of the Basque Fatherland.  On this ever so special Monday, we’d like to share with you the story and legend behind the eguzkilorea.  This humble yet powerful protective flower has, for centuries, if not millennia, been in charge of defending Basque homes from evil.

We’re doing so because we want to, not because it’s showed up in any international media outlet.  And we’re doing so because early this morning, a regular reader of ours sent us a link to a blog she writes in order to share this story.  We’re not much for believing in coincidences, and that’s why we can’t help thinking that this entry we’ve received, written on this date, has something to do with Aberri Eguna.

That’s why we thought, What does our traditional Eguzkilorea have to do with the Aberri Eguna?  We’re sure many will think nothing at all, but we think that there is a truly important relationship:

Thousands of years ago, the first Basques to inhabit today’s Land of the Basques thought that Amalur, the Mother Earth, gave us this dry flower of the silver thistle (Carlina acualis) as a way to protect homes from all the evil the darkness could bring.  About 120 years ago, in 1895, Sabino de Arana y Goirí created another symbol, the ikurriña, in order to protect and defend that land itself, Euskadi.

Yesterday, on the Aberri Eguna, the Ikurriña, that symbol of protection and identity was used by thousands of Basques on all six (inhabited) continents to remind the world, and ourselves, what our Homeland is.  So it’s a good thing that today, Easter Monday, we remember this other great protective symbol of the Basques.

Note: the blog we found this story about the eguzkilorea has disappeared (it’s a shame how easily information can disappear in this digital era), so we found the same story on another blog, AmaiurZen.  Check it out here in Spanish or the Google translation:

Cuadernos de Campo – 9/4/2012 – Euskadi


Porque no todo va ser ciencía y tecnología, permitidme en esta ocasión que comparta con vosostros una hermosa leyenda de mi pueblo, Euskal Herria. os vascos santiguamente honraban a Amalur, o Madre Tierra, y existen numerosas leyendas sobre ella. Especialmente me gusta esta en la que se cuenta como Amalur creo la Luna (Ilargi) y el Sol (Eguzki) y junto a ellos a Eguzkilore (La Flor de Sol o el cardo común)

(Follow at Internet Archive) (Automatic translation)