Olentzero and Mari Dominigi is a deep-rooted tradition in the Basque Country. From Turrones la Colmena we wanted to make a small tribute to these endearing characters that announce Christmas and bring gifts to the youngest.
Originally, an Olentzero was the log in the fireplace on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning, his ashes were scattered by the front door to protect the house for the next year. According to legend, the gentiles came down from the mountains warning of the arrival of Kixmi (Christ). Joining this mythological element with the tradition of the log and the fire, the figure of this character was born, personified as a Basque charcoal burner, described as a good-natured and somewhat mischievous guy.
Mari Domingi , on the other hand, represents femininity and the winter solstice. She is a shepherdess and farmer and has knowledge of astrology and medicinal plants.
Already in the 20th century, both the Olenchero and Mari Domingi took shape and became on the same level as other famous Christmas protagonists such as Santa Claus or Santa Claus. This custom can be seen in cities such as Bilbao, Donostia and Vitoria-Gasteiz. If you want to know more about this Basque Christmas tradition you can visit the following page: https://turismo.euskadi.eus/es/agenda/olentzero/aa30-12375/es/