Some things never cease to amaze, and what we bring you today is one of them.  This is most likely due to the fact that we’ve never been to the Dax city festival, their version of Bilbao’s Aste Nagusia, where, just like in Pamplona or Bayonne, they dress up in white with red handkerchiefs.

Anyone who’s traveled the coastline of Les Landes can tell you that the buildings are not all that different from the ones you can find anywhere in the Northern Basque Country.  And it’s quite normal, especially in summer, to see ikurriñas, not just in the homes of the Basques summering there (of whom there are a few), but even by the “locals.”

We also know it’s not hard to find demonstrations of Force Basque (Basque rural sports), which are advertised by the Landes tourism offices themselves, using ikurriñas throughout the advertising.

Dax even has a jai-alai court, and the towns throughout the Landes are dotted with such courts just as you’d find in any town in the Northern Basque Country.

Frontón en Las Landas
Jai alai court in Les Landes

So, yes, in the end this could all by just touristic marketing, influence by “cultural osmosis,” shared traditions, or any other explanation that would mean that it’s all just “coincidence” and has no real importance.

But perhaps harder to explain away is just how “Agur Jaunak” came to be the song chosen by the residents of Dax to put the finishing touch on their festival.  Or the emotions which, as can easily be seen, take over the audience and signers who, in Basques, since this song that is so important and symbolic to the Basqu epeople.  This proves that this isn’t a fad, but rather a tradition with deep roots in this festival and in this city in Les Landes.

It’s an emotion that is undoubtedly shared by Basques all over the world who, upon seeing it, will feel like they’re at home.

By the way, we’d like to take this opportunity to share an amazing article on the blog run by Alejando Garcia Santibañez (immensely interesting but unfortunately no longer updated) about “Agur Jaunak,” its history, and how it’s become such an essential song for when Basques get together.  Its origins are from the Northern Basque Country.  There are so many things we owe to the people north of the Pyrenees!

🎶 “Agur jaunak” 🎶 – Clôture de la Feria de Dax 2022


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Alegarsan – 30/9/2014 – 

Origen del Agur Jaunak

La procedencia de la canción la explica Antonio Peña y Goñi en la carta que mandó a Felipe Pedrell en 1892. Narra dónde, cómo y de quién la aprendió.

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