History

 

Andra Mari day (Our Lady’s Day)
15th August

On Andra Mari Day the Mayor and other municipal representatives used to walk from the Town Hall to the parish church, duly dressed for the occasion, to attend High Mass.

The town Basque flute players, Txistularis, would lead the procession followed by an official carrying the town flag over his shoulder, who in turn was followed by all the municipal council members. This is how they used to enter to hear Mass, placing the Bakio flag upright to the left of the altar.

During the consecration, and once the flag had been taken down, the Agur Jaunak, played by the Txistularis, could be heard from the portico. Following the consecration, the flag was once again put in place, and collected once Mass had finished.

Afterwards, there was a dance in front of the church, and biscuits and white wine were distributed to the assembled Bakio locals. This local custom was present in Bakio for many years before and after the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).

Saint Joan Doloz day (St. John the Baptist Day)
29th August

In celebration of the triumph over the death of St. John the Baptist and in observance of this traditional custom, the feast of St Joan Doloz is celebrated on 29th August, with a procession and festivity in the fields of Urizarreta.

It appears that the first pilgrimage in the fields of Urizarreta was held in 1495, as mentioned in some old documents, and by the 17th century this pilgrimage was already a deeply-rooted custom amongst the residents of the surrounding areas.

On this day, the members of Bermeo Town Council would visit Gaztelugatxe and ask the parish priest for the inventory of the municipal assets, which would be recorded in a document as testimony to the properties of the municipality. Mass would then be heard in the hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, followed by the drawing up of the inventory, the oldest of which dates from 1645, and then a procession and festivity in the fields of Urizarreta, where the rest of the day would be spent.

Later, and once the request by 135 residents of Zubiaur and San Pelaio to form part of Bakio had been accepted, the representatives of both town councils would meet in Urizarreta, invited by Bermeo Town Council, and round off the day here with a celebratory meal.

Saint Joan Doloztxu (John the Baptist) day
30th August

Before the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), the dance known as sokako aurreskua (rope dance) could be seen in Bakio on St. Joan Doloztxu day, as with other towns during their patron saint festivities.

Ziriako Garai from Ardantza House and Raimundo Bilbao from Aurrekoetxe House danced the aurresku and the atzesku respectively. This dance took place in the Tabernalde area, to celebrate the town festivities.

The two dancers would hold hands and first dance the aurresku followed by the atzesku. They would then choose a woman and the aurreskulari would dedicate a dance to her. Another woman would then be chosen, and the atzeskulari would dance. Later the four would be accompanied in the dance by men and women in couples throughout the length of the rope and grasping a handkerchief. It should be noted that after the Spanish Civil War, they started holding hands instead of using the handkerchief. The aurreskulari and the atzeskulari, meanwhile, were joined to the women by holding either side of a txapela (Basque beret). When the atzeskulari and the aurreskulari had each completed a dance, everybody would dance a Basque jig and a porrusalda jig.

Gregorio Agirre from Garaitxu House would often dance the sokako aurresku, as would Ziriako Egia from Egia House.