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The Rafters Day

Fiestas, traditions and events of interest / Thematic day

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In the valleys of the Pyrenees, exploiting the forests has been the main source of income since time immemorial, and their rivers have been used to transport the wood down to the more tranquil currents of the Ebro where it could be sold for transformation. The means of transporting this wood was by building almadías; rafts with oars at both ends made from various sections of timber bound with plant ropes which were then pushed dangerously down the river by the current.

To commemorate and pay tribute to the rafters of the Roncal, Salazar and Aezkoa valleys a "Rafters' Day" was organised, a festival that was declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest in 2005. Every spring, at the end of April or the beginning of May, before thousands of spectators, the rafts ply the waters of the river Esca once again until completing their journey at the medieval bridge of Burgui.

This spectacular event is rounded off by concerts, a craft fair, dances, exhibitions, a mass lunch, audiovisual screenings, rural sports, dance music and a ceremony to award the "Golden Rafter" to various Navarrese dignitaries.

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