Hitting the earth in honor of St. Agueda

February 4th in the Basque Country is celebrated on the eve of St. Agueda Day

Listening in the street to a choir performing songs dedicated to Santa Agueda is witnessing a tradition many centuries old. In the Basque Country we pay tribute to this martyr of the 3rd century by going out to sing on the eve of Santa Agueda (in Basque Agate Deuna Bezpera), the day before February 5, through the streets of the towns and neighborhoods, in gangs and with makilas (sticks) that strike on the ground to the rhythm of the Song.

Tradition says that they were young men of military service, the fifth, those who went door to door collecting money or different food for a meal. Today the choral rounds are carried out by school formations, vocal groups and parish groups among others.

The act of hitting the hitting ground could have its origin in a call to Earth to finish waking up after the winter solstice since like many other religious celebrations in the Basque Country, pre-Christian pagan elements are mixed with Christian elements.