The carnival of the Joaldunaks in Ituren and Zubieta.


The carnival of Ituren and Zubieta opens the season of the famous carnivals of Navarre, the most interesting and richest carnivals in the Basque Country.

It takes place on the Monday and Tuesday of the last week of January, in the villages where the Joaldunaks or Zanpantzar come from.

On Monday, the parade takes place in the village of Ituren. Tuesday in Zubieta.


little boy wearing the joaldunak attire during Ituren carnival


For having been to each of the two villages, I preferred Monday morning in Ituren: preparation of the clothes, parade in the typical village. However, I did not see a parade from one village to another. The tourist office was laconic about the actual program and I couldn’t figure out if the Joaldunaks really walk from one village to another or only walk a little bit as I saw.

On Tuesday afternoon, I started in Ituren where all the Joaldunaks were gathered. They paraded a little bit then I followed them when they started their march towards Zubieta…. except that they quickly climbed into vehicles!!! As a result, they arrived long before me and I couldn’t film the arrival on the old stone bridge of Zubieta. There were also chariots and it was rather gore, as the tradition wants that young people dress up as characters representing chaos, that the Joaldunaks, hunters of evil spirits, go hunting with their bells (“Joaldunaks” actually means “bells”). It became even worse in Zubieta’s square, and not very reassuring, between the young people covered with blood or brandishing dead organs or dead animals and those who were scaring people with their chainsaws…


Place: Ituren and Zubieta, Navarre.

Date: Monday and Tuesday of the last week of January. 27 and 28 January 2020.

Type: carnival of Navarre.


For your accommodation, I recommend you Tresanea Apartamentos, in the beautiful rural village of Ituren.

Click here to check the availability and prices for your trip.



For more traditional Basque festivals, visit the agenda page.

Receive the checklist to organize your next independent trip and my advice to travel serenely close to the people. It’s FREE!