ANIMAL BLESSINGS AND SYMBOLIC FIRE HONOUR SAN ANTONIO
in honour of San Antonio return to Jávea this weekend
with the annual blessing of the animals. San Antonio
is, amongst other things, patron saint of the domestic
animal and hundreds of residents will gather in the
Plaza de la Constitución and the Port Promenade as they
do each year to have their pets blessed in the presence
of the image of San Antonio.
festivities began last weekend with the opening of the
annual fun-fair - Porrat i Fira de San Antonio
- on the car-park next to Avenida Palmela just to the
south of the old town which is open from 5pm and runs
until Sunday 29th January. But the main celebrations
take place this weekend organised by the Penya La Burrera
and the equestrian club 'El Tiraset'. They begin
this Friday evening with a modest parade of both
groups through the streets of the old town and port,
accompanied by the traditional music of dolzaina,
tabalet and the ubiquitous charanga band.
Saturday, 'El Tiraset' will be welcoming the
festivities with an early 'despertŕ' at 8.00am
in the old town, the traditional wake-up parade of music
accompanied by the deafening explosion of rockets and
thundercrackers; no-one will be in any doubt that fiesta
has returned to Jávea.
10.00am, the equestrian group will gather with a set
of strong horses in the Plaza de la Constitución to
drag a huge pine tree through the streets of the old
town to their temporary headquarters in Calle San Antonio
(a small square close to the Repsol garage where the
niche of San Antonio is located) where it will be erected
and prepared for burning that evening. It's a full day
of celebration as 'El Tiraset' set about the
hard work of preparing for the evening's celebrations
with a long communal lunch. At 6.30pm, the image of
San Antonio will be mounted onto a specially-decorated
cart and the group, accompanied by a lively charanga,
will make another modest parade through the streets
of the old town, making everyone aware of the significance
of San Antonio and also to invite them to the burning
of the pine tree later that evening.
if a little exhausted, the parade will return to the
pine tree, decorated with bunting and fireworks at about
8.30pm, ready for its symbolic burning. Hundreds will
have gathered around the tree and on the flyover which
dominates the south of the modest square, entertained
by music and, certainly for those in the square itself,
offered small glasses of sweet mistela wine as well
as cakes and nuts. A cacaphony of noise will herald
the burning of the pine, cleansing the spirit of the
old year and preparing for the new.
Sunday morning, a large parade of animals and carts
will leave the square at 11.00am and process down to
the port and back to the Plaza de la Constitución where
hundreds of residents will have gathered with pets of
all shapes and sizes, ready for them to be blessed.
But those who prefer their animals to be blessed of
the official day of San Antonio - Tuesday February 17th
- will have their chance to do so in the port where
the responsibility for continuing the celebrations will
pass on to Penya La Burrera. After a morning parade,
a special mass will be celebrated in the port church
(Nuestra Seńora de Loreto) at 12
noon followed by the blessing of the animals in
the promenade of Almirante Basterreche where owners
can enjoy a complementary glass of wine.
celebrations come to an end of Sunday 29th January with
the closure of the fun-fair as well as a pull-and-drag
competition organised by 'El Tiraset' on the
nearby wasteground next to Calle Azorín in the
Frechinal area of the town.
more information about San Antonio, click here.
Additional Information: Press
Release - Xŕbia Ajuntament