Yesterday was the Aberri Eguna, the Basque "Day of the Fatherland". It was invented a century ago or so by the Arana brothers, who are also entitled with the creation of Basque Nationalism as such modern political movement, as well as its iconography. Being of Carlist extraction and hence hyper-Catholics, they were happy to fill all their newly invented symbols of Christian references. Therefore the Basque flag has two crosses: St. Andrew's or Burgundy Cross for tradition and the regular Christian cross for Christianity, what else?
The ikurriña or Basque flag, the red background stands for the land
And of course, they chose the Christian holiday of Resurrection Sunday as the Basque National Day. Meh, they could have chosen August 15, which is the day we kicked the ass of the most powerful army of the Middle Ages, securing the independence of would-be Navarre.
Well, whatever the case, this Aberri Eguna brought us these two images:
On one side the unitary celebration across the imposed border at Hendaia-Irun, participated by all formations but the Basque Nationalist Party:
The act was presided by the portraits of seven independentist figures from the country and around the world: Queen Jeanne of Navarre, who lead the Hugenot rebellion in France and promoted Basque literature and culture, Agosti Xaho, famous Basque Romantic writer from whom I borrowed the name for this blog, José Antonio Agirre, who was Lehendakari (President of the Basque Government) in the Spanish Civil War, Teleforo Monzón, who lead the struggle in the Fascist period, eventually helping to found Herri Batasuna, Simón Bolívar who led the liberation struggle in Latin America, José Martí, who led the independence struggle of Cuba and Mahatma Gandhi, who led India towards its freedom as well.
The number seven, figure of the historical regions or provinces of the Basque Country, synthesized in the commonplace phrase Zazpiak Bat (the seven one), was central to the act and hence also seven different musicians performed for the public.
Txutxi Ariznabarreta declared in the act:
Let everybody know, in particular the Spanish and French states, that we are here and we are going to be every day more who want to achieve the Basque state.Police road controls were very apparent on the southern routes, in an obvious attempt to intimidate the participants.
And on the other side the separate celebration of Basque Nationalist Party at Bilbao:
The party's president, I. Urkullu, has attacked the current pro-Spanish government of P. López, saying that "their only project is to paralyze the Basque Country; that's what they call 'to normalize': to their strategy of impoverishing the Basque people, a people that feels it doesn't have a Lehendakari (President) who defends their interests".
He also attacked the minor nationalist parties that joined the unitary Aberri Eguna of Hendaia-Irun, denouncing the "atomization" of the "democrat" Basque Nationalists. Quite ironic in my opinion, being EAJ-PNV the only party to go on its own in this date.
Source: Gara[es]: link1, link2.