Basque Gifts for the Holidays

Silver lauburu

Silver lauburu

1. This lovely little book, “A Basque Diary: Living in Hondarribia,” with its cute illustrations, is a great guide to living in the Basque Country. It also makes a good gift for fans of the Basque Country, even if they aren’t planning on moving there. The author, originally from England, planned to visit the Basque Country for a short while, and ended up staying for two years, in the coastal town of Hondarribia in Hegoalde. Her enjoyable cartoons and irreverent tone has led readers on Amazon to give the guide a five-star rating. Click here to buy the book on Amazon.

2. Do you want to be authentic? Then you must wear a beret to your next Basque celebration. “The beret still remains a strong symbol of the unique identity of southwestern France and is worn while celebrating traditional events,” notes Wikipedia. In Hegoalde (the Spanish side), it’s known as a boína or bilbaína. This traditional black beret may be expensive, but it is made by Laulhère, the oldest beret maker in France, and the beret is identified with a “Basque authentique” label on the inside. Join in the tradition for any Basque occasion. It’s also perfect to keep your head warm in cold weather. Click here to buy the beret on Amazon. To buy a less expensive beret in different colors, try this one.

3. Basque Marinade: Basque Norte is a popular restaurant that has existed in the town of Chico, in Northern California for many years. The Allen family opened this restaurant in 1975 after a visit to Spain, where they fell in love with the Basque Country. The marinade, which they use on their popular steaks, is available at many locations. Click here to buy it from Amazon and get it shipped to you in time to cook some steaks for your next holiday party.

4. If you do not have a Basque flag, now may be the best time to get one. You can hang this 3 x 5-foot flag outdoors via two grommets or on a wall. Sabino and Luis Arana, the founders of the Basque Nationalist Party, created the flag, known as the ikurriña. The red, white and green colors of the flag have become the national Basque colors.

5. The ancient symbol of the lauburu (literally “four heads”) is a symbol of the Basque Country and the unity of the Basque people. It is used on door lintels in the baserris (farmhouses), on furniture and gravestones. It is frequently worn as jewelry. To buy this sterling silver lauburu from Amazon, click here.