The Basque word for carnival is Inauteria. The root inaut means pruning. It is said that the aim of pruning is to minimize the arrival of damaging insects. It is funny that the Basque words for disguise: zomorro, mozorro, kokoalso mean insect. In CArnival, people become insects. They go from house to house and they are given offerings. This means that the insects get they payment and will lleave without damaging trees or crops.Another word for Carnival in Basque is aratusteak which means no meat. This is related to Christian Cuaresma in which no meat was allowed to memorize the 40 days that Christ was prying in the desert. Before the Cuaresma people enjoy all the things they wont enjoy for 40 days.
There are lots of traditions related to carnival:Kanporamartxo: It is celebrated on the Sunday before the Cuaresma People go to the mountain and spend the day out. They grill some special sausages on a barbacue with friends.Etxeramartxo: It is like kanporamartxo but at home with your own family. Eguen zuri: It is celebrated on the Thursday before Carnival. It is usually a tradition for children. They go from home to home asking for offerings and they sing a special song.
These are some of the main Carnival characters from different parts of the Basque Country:
At school we usually chose a famous Basque Carnival and represent it with our students. They desguise, learn dances and songs from that plce and perform all that in front of village and parents.This year, though, we have worked on a different subject and just for a change have acted the German tale: The Pied Piper of Hamelin.