Middletown, Rhode Island – On Saturday, October 24, 2015, the New England Basque Club gathered for Sagardo Eguna (Cider Day). Along with hand-pressing and savoring cider from fresh-picked apples, the crowd enjoyed sporting events, food and drink, history, literature, trivia and a raffle. The guest of honor was Begoña Echeverría, a Basque-Californian author from Chino, who presented her novel “The Hammer of Witches,” on the Basque witch trials held during the Inquisition.
After sampling some txistorra, the festivities began outdoors with some spirited competition in herri kirolak, including aizkolaritza, harri jasotzea and txingaruten. Also on full display was the lovely New England autumn with its crisp air and trees ablaze in orange, red and gold.
Inside awaited more txistorra and a meal of chicken, salad and desserts. The raffle boasted five winners, each of whom took home some delicious Basque cider generously supplied by our friends at Vermont’s own Shacksbury Cider. Eskerrik asko!
Begoña Echeverria gave a highly informative and entertaining presentation on witch-trials in the Basque Country, tied to her historical novel “The Hammer of Witches.” Listeners also got an edge in the trivia contest to win a copy. Begoña signed books as well. The New England Basque Club would like to thank Begoña again for her visit; we were most glad to have her and wholly appreciated the illuminating talk!
Throughout the event was the opportunity for greenhorns and old salts alike to try their hands at pressing cider. The group made short work of it, transforming barrels of apples into gallons galore.
The New England Basque Club thanks everyone for helping make this year’s Sagardo Eguna a success!
Check out the NEBC Facebook page for more photos.