Leitza – Playing bells

On the eve of The Magi day, in the night of 4 to 5 January, the leitzarras make a noisy parade through the town shaking bells of different shapes and sizes. The parade lasts an hour, ending at the square where the Town Hall clock gives 1:00am.
This recording is made just when about 60 bell players finish their performance in the square. Participants then come to drink in the lunch organized in Aurrera or they retire back home.
It’s a well known tradition: the charivari guides the three Kings on their way and remind them that they should not forget to leave gifts in the village. However, most ethnographic research agree that bell-playing is part of the winter solstice tradition, pagan in origin. This tradition is related, no doubt, with the rest of charivaris taking place at this time in different villages of Nafarroa.

Author: Asier Gogortza
Date: 04/01/2015