University of Nevada, Reno

Frequently Asked Questions V
Basque Culture

What is Aberri Eguna?

Celebrated on Easter Sunday, Aberri Eguna is the Basque national day. It means literally “Day of the Homeland.” Started in 1932 by Luis de Arana Goiri, the famous nationalist, as a day “to rekindle pan-Basque ties,” it also celebrates the political conversion of his younger brother, Sabino de Arana Goiri, from Carlism (monarchism) to nationalism. Francisco Franco banned its celebration but could not stop it, and even today, festivals take place each year in various locations.

What is patxaran / pacharan?

It is an alcoholic beverage made from sloe fruit and anisette. The word derives from “basaran,” which means “sloe,” or literally, “wild plum.”

How do you say “Merry Christmas” in Basque?  “Happy Birthday”?

Merry Christmas is “Eguberri on!”  For “happy birthday,” Basques use “Zorionak!” which literally means “Congratulations.” To further the expression one would add, “...eta urte askotarako!” meaning “And many more to come!”



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