Logotipo Olentzero

Ixila eta pentsakorra
potolo eta gainera nola!
Gabonero beti ondoan
hara hemen Olentzero hona!

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Olentzero Baiona (#34). 22/12/2007. Photo: Xabier Martinez Alava.


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Thursday, 03rd of January, 2008

Nobody proposes to go back to the old times on the 24th December carrying along old photos, nor anybody pretend returning to using candles, charcoal to warm up, to dressing in furs or to hunting to feed ourselves….

We go out to celebrate a festivity that has already been celebrated by the people of this country for many centuries with different names. The celebration has changed with the passing of the years because is alive and because everything that is alive gets modified as its own circumstances change, and, that has certainly been the case!

Olentzero is an ageless celebration from the past and for future and a festivity, as a matter of necessity, diverse because is celebrated in very many places and that makes it even more interesting. Globalization will also affect Olentzero and might indicate that must become all the same. Only celebrated in one way, the same all over. Mass media will try and make uniform something that has always been diverse by market laws. However, there are still people like us who think markets should not have to do anything with it. Iruña/Pamplona is not Tudela, Tudela is not Lesaka, Lesaka is not Baiona and their Olentzeroak should all be different.

And the magic of Olentzero goes further, because even among those who participate, dance, play and instrument, carrying a cart or simply stay watching from the kerb, Olentzero has different faces: for some, Olentzero is a cultural one, for others, symbolic, for the others simply presents and for some political…and yet the dummy with the pipe takes different shapes according to who is living it.

Olentzero is the personification of the solstice but also a spirit of nature, a collier, a mythological gentile, Messenger of light, symbol of the sun, the one announcing the birth of Christ or, even for some, a Basque Papa Noel. If its meaning is so diverse, why not its different representations???That is part of its magic, its reason of being, the vitality of the celebration and we will never give up on him

03 January 2008

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