Andre nobia



The wedding celebration we are about to explain used to take place on the day of the last announcement, the same day the bride’s belongings were moved to the groom’s house. In those days the transfer of her possessions was a relevant moment, especially when either of them were designated heirs. The event turned into a custom, etxe-sartzea, which took account of the moment the young girl entered her future home.

The party was headed by the bride’s brother. He walked with a ram wearing bells and a red lace in its horns. The household women attempted to remove the lace, but the boy would make every effort to prevent that from happening. If somebody succeeded in pulling the lace out the horns of the animal, the bride’s brother would not be allowed to attend the wedding banquet.

The bride’s brother was followed by txistu players performing the Ioiak song, and behind them a pair of cows pulled the cart carrying the bride’s properties: the bed, the mattress, the cross, the spinning wheel, the mirror, and the bedlinen and clothing handmade by herself (sheets, tablecloths, hand towels…). The cart axle was supposed to make as much noise as possible, so as to spread the news about the immediate wedding amongst all the inhabitants of the village. A couple of mules hauled a sack of wheat and two full wineskins.

The bride’s sister or another female relative rode a horse. She had to be single by force. She carried on her lap a linen shirt wrapped in a silk cloth, which was the bride’s gift for the groom.

As the cohort reached the groom’s house, his brother would receive them and remove the lace off the horns of the ram to afterwards decorate his beret with it. Later, in the afternoon, he would be the bride’s dancing partner, still wearing the lace.

At lunchtime the party enjoyed a meal in the groom’s house. The menu consisted of soup, chickpeas served with cabbage, mutton or lamb stew, roasted chicken, dessert, coffee, liqueur and cigars. This was the very moment when the bride and the groom dedicated the following verses to each other. Finally, and to put an end to the days’ celebrations, the groom and two of his friends were invited to the bride’s house for supper.

Andre Nobia
Baztan (Nafarroa)