Carnivals of Navarre: magic and tradition
In Navarre, the hardships of winter are drowned out in the bustle and colour of its Carnivals, offering a wide range of rituals throughout its geography during this festive period.
Witches, bears, ghosts in sacking stuffed with straw, charcoal burners, giants and bandits with coshes take over the streets of many towns and villages, and bring new life to some of the region’s oldest magical dances and rituals. Magic, colour and tradition meld and offer visitors a unique opportunity to discover the most rooted customs of Navarre’s villages.
Make the most of the chance to mix in with the crowd and live a true carnival.
Here are some of the most singular carnivals you can enjoy in Navarre:
• Ituren and Zubieta, where the mysterious zanpantzar or ioaldunak sound the most harmonious cowbells to be found in the Pyrenees to ward off evil spirits. On Monday, the zanpantzar from Zubieta visit the village of Ituren, and on Tuesday it’s the turn of those from Ituren to return the visit.
• Another option is the Lantz carnival with all its wonderful characters. There you can witness the capture and execution of Miel Otxin, see the flamboyant entourage of txatxos and enjoy the tortuous path of Ziripot as he is pushed over by Zaldiko.
• Finally, we can’t fail to recommend the Altsasu/Alsasua carnival , where Akerra, the personification of Lucifer, presides over the dances of the terrifying momotxorros, who, dressed in bloodied costumes and with huge horns, intimidate all those attending with their pitchforks.
Check here the dates of these and other rural carnivals in Navarre
29 ene - 18 feb