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javeamigos.com | VIRGEN DEL CARMEN

Wednesday 11th January 2012

javeamigos.com | SAN ANTONIO

Celebrations 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.

The 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.

On 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.

At 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.

Well-oiled, 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.

On 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.

The 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.

For more information about San Antonio, click here.

Additional Information: Press Release - Xŕbia Ajuntament

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