A popular festival – The summer solstice and St. John’s Eve

The Basque people love their customs and traditions that have been preserved over time, such as the celebration of St. John’s Eve. This festival, linked to the summer solstice, is also a night of witches, magic and beliefs.

It is a very ancient festival linked to multiple purification beliefs to welcome the arrival of summer and to scare away evil spirits. It is held in many towns and neighborhoods around a bonfire, where people gather, sing and dance traditional folk music.

The tradition goes that you must write two wishes for the future and something you don’t want to happen on a piece of paper. You then burn this paper and jump over the fire. You must jump over the fire, at least 3 times, to ensure a lucky and healthy year.

We leave here some pictures of the festival held at Trapagaran (Bizkaia) for you have an idea of what it is like.

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Bilbao White Night Festival 2014- A magical time!

On June 16th , Bilbao celebrated the 714th birthday of the city with a White Night festival. It was a new and exciting way to explore and discover our city. Bilbao Greeters attended this year.

See the White Night festival in Bilbao though the eyes of our Greeters.

Here’s what we saw. We hope you enjoy it!

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Art and creativity in the streets of Bilbao

Last June 7th streets and plazas of Bilbao making them a gigantic outdoor art studio. It was a bright, sunshiny day and a fantastic opportunity to meet artists in a casual atmosphere. There was art to purchase. You could see the artists interpret what they were seeing and talk with them about their work. More specifically, you were able to listen to them about brushes, watercolor paints, the texture of paper while watching their creativity to flourish on the canvases. How delightful it all was! A big thank to all of the artists and in particular to watercolor painters: Gloria Cortina, Mari Mar González and Alfredo Gómez, for their attention and kindness. We hope to attend more events like this one. Here I leave some pictures.

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Estropatada 2014 –Rubber Duck Regatta of Solidarity

Last 15th of June, the second Rubber Duck Regatta took place on the Nervion River in Bilbao.

This year, the money raised will go to the study of neurodegenerative diseases.

For the second year in a row, 50,000 rubber ducks were dropped into the river to participate in the regatta called “estropatada”.

We didn’t miss the “wopatos” race, as we also call it. It was a great success and tons of fun!

Everyone was excited and hopeful for all the help that came.

We are already looking forward to next year.

View photos from the regatta.

2014 estropatada

Fresh Local Veggies

In the Basque country, food an eating are the center of everyday life. I have never taken cooking classes. I was taught to cook and about the importance of eating fresh foods by my mother, and my mother from her mother.

Growing up, I remember her cooking every day, three meals a day for my sister, my father and me. She shopped every day at the neighborhood shops. I used to go along and loved watching her. She knew exactly what products she wanted, always fresh.

Today, I am a food and cooking lover thanks to my mom. Needless to say, I follow her recommendations: Use fresh, natural ingredients and keep it simple!

I feel lucky that I have great local small businesses and farms around my area. Buying seasonal ingredients is great!

They taste and look better. In addition, shopping at small local businesses, is a good way to support the local economy.

Local matters, and if one is a Greeter, much more! 🙂

Let me share with you the photos I took to the box of colorful organic veggies delivered yesterday directly from the farm.

My mouth is watering just looking at them!

verduras 1 verduras 2 verduras 3