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The tradition of Santa Ageda’s choirs was echoed in various Basque clubs in Europe and America

02/06/2018

Santa Agueda singers in front of the Boise Basque Center in Boise, ID (photoBasque Museum-EuskalKultura.com)
Santa Agueda singers in front of the Boise Basque Center in Boise, ID (photoBasque Museum-EuskalKultura.com)

As every year, several Basque clubs and Basque communities around the world joined in the tradition of Santa Ageda or Agate Deuna choirs in the beginning of February when the Basque Country honors the Holy Martyr of Catania. On the eve of the feast of Santa Ageda (the 5th) the tradition is to go out and sing traditional verses, going from house to house with walking sticks that are struck rhythmically on the ground.  Basque clubs in Boise, Madrid, and Valencia also celebrated this Basque tradition. 

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Boise, ID. In the Idaho capital, the event was held last Monday, at 7:30pm in downtown Boise, at the Basque Block, beginning at the Basque Museum after Basque language classes concluded taught by Itxaso Cayero and Todor Azurtza.  Basque students that stayed after class, joined other friends, Basques and non-Basque alike, as well as some members of the Biotzetik Choir in Boise, also were part of the 20 sum people who participated.

After singing at the Museum, the Agate Deuna group moved out to the Basque Block and also visited the Euskal Etxea where they also sang traditional verses, accompanied by a trikitixa and the rhythm of the makilas. The next stop was the Leku Ona Restaurant, in front of the clubhouse, where Itxaso Cayero explained the origins and meaning of what they were going to hear to the clients present.  There they sang Zorion, etxe hontako denoi...(Congratulations to everyone in this house) that begin the verses of Santa Ageda or Agate Deuna.


Itxaso Cayero explaining Santa Ageda to clients at Bar Gernika (photoBasque Museum of Boise – EuskalKultura.com)

Later, the group moved to the sounds of Egun da Santimamiña to the Bardenay brewery and restaurant, one of the largest businesses in the area.  After asking permission, Itxaso Cayero once again explained the tradition to those present before singing some more verses.

The next stop was at Bar Gernika on the corner of the Basque Block.  After singing there the group moved back to the Basque Museum to conclude the activity.

In more places

Other Basque clubs and Basque communities in the Diaspora had also celebrated this date in places like Mexico City, Barcelona and London, however, this year to date we haven’t heard from them.

In Madrid, the local Basque Club celebrates Santa Ageda or Agate Deuna every year, and this year was no exception, again supported by singers from the Madrid Basque club choir.  The event took place last Saturday beginning at noon at the clubhouse with a Santa Ageda meal.  At 7pm they left the clubhouse to tour streets in downtown Madrid including: Plaza San Nicolás (Txoko Zar), Plaza de la Villa. Calle Sacramento, Puerta del Sol, Plaza Santa ana, Quevedo (Zerain) and Marqués de Cubas (Kupela), to finally return to the Euskal Etxea.


Celebration on the eve of Santa Agueda last Saturday at the Laurak Bat Basque Club in Valencia (photoLBV)

On the Mediterranean coast, the Laurak Bat Basque Club in Valencia also joined in the Santa Ageda festivities with a “late afternoon lunch/dinner of songs” at the clubhouse that included a healthy selection of Basque songs with special performance of the traditional Agate Deuna verses.  Some photos of this event are available on the club’s website.

(If your club also celebrated and you’d like to share information or photos of the evnet, please email us: info@euskalkultura.com)



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