Wowowowow I haven’t been on since July— Dang son.
Yesterday, Irun celebrated its famous “alarde”!
This festival has its roots in some ancient foral (provincial) laws governing Gipuzkoa that established the Spanish royal army had the right to garrison only in Donostia and Hondarribia. The rest of the province was defended by a militia formed by the entire local adult male population.
Under these laws the king had to ask the province council for permission for the royal army to travel through Gipuzkoa, and the Basque soldiers were exempt from the obligation to serve outside their territory.
These laws also required all villages of Gipuzkoa to make, at least once a year, an inspection of weapons and militiamen called “alarde" (literally, "bragging”).
All this disappeared during the 19th century. However, Irun and Hondarribia have respected the tradition of this annual parade, transforming a military obligation in a civil party. In Irun, the alarde also commemorates the victory of the militia of Irun over the French army, on June 30th, 1522.
Since at least 1996, women began to demand to also march in the alarde as soldiers (role traditionally reserved to men), creating a huge controversy that eventually led to the division of the old alarde in two: one open to men and women known as “Public Alarde”, with about 1,000 soldiers parading, and the one called "Traditional Alarde”, just for men, with around 10,000 participants.
Basque ex-gymnast Almudena Cid.
She’s the only rhythmic gymnast in the world to compete in 4 Olympic games finals (Atlanta ‘96, Sydney ‘00, Athens ‘04 & Beijing ‘08) and the most decorated rhythmic gymnast of Spain.
Russian orthodox church, Biarritz.
Why in Biarritz, you may wonder? Because it was a famous summer destination for the Russian royal family and the Russian nobility.