In January we can enjoy one of the oldest carnivals in the world, the carnival of Ituren and Zubieta, two villages from Navarra.
Carnival is a pagan holiday and has always been one of the most popular festivals in old europe’s societies.
It was an opportunity to do and say things that the rest of the year were not allowed.
Related to the oldest rites connected with nature, the carnival wants to move away the winter, kick out evil spirits and awake the earth to start harvesting fruit.
The main characters are the joaldunak. Men dressed in sheepskin, bandanas neck, conical caps with ribbons, lace petticoats, “hisopos” horsehair in their hands and two huge bells attached to their backs, called the polumpak.
They parade through the streets sounding their bells at the pace of the first row. It is a chilling sound that resonates between the valleys and mountains and makes you feel part of an ancient ritual and closer to earth.
Celebrated the last Monday and Tuesday of the last week of January.
On Monday joaldunak Zubieta go to Ituren walking three kilometers and are greeted by joaldunak Ituren. Both groups come together and dance in the village square. The next day the route is reversed.
Rhythmic and creepy sounds through the mist to evoke old legends will make you join this amazing holiday.