During the festivities held in this town on the Basque coast the tradition, for three centuries, has been to rip the necks from hanging geese. This year more rubber than real geese have been used.
Many of the organizers of Goose Day on September 5th have defined this as "historical". 56 rubber geese have been used compared with 34 real ones.
The first rubber geese were used in 2006. However, most of the groups of young people chose to use real geese until this year. This is the first year that there have been more rubber than real geese.
The treatment of animals in many Basque Country festivities has long been a subject of debate, and there have been attempts to use alternatives to real animals at Lekeitio's Goose Day.
The rubber geese are made at Gaiker-IK4 technological centre and have mechanisms for breaking their necks. Lekeitio mayor Koldo Goitia stated that "We have moved forward in a natural way, giving each group the chance to take its own decision."
Over the 300 years which this has been going on, this year more women than ever have taken part. Last year, there were 20 of them; this year, 24. However, there is still a long way to go before men's and women's participation is equal.
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