The fiesta year starts cautiously with Sant Antoni and San Sebastian celebrations

The adapted programmes remove the gastronomic and bull-running activities, acknowledging the current health situation.

Wednesday 12th January 2022 – PRESS RELEASE with Mike Smith

With a certain degree of optimism, the Department of Fiestas have been working over the past few months with the respective fiesta commissions to prepare for the return of the celebrations of Sant Antoni Abad and San Sebastián during the month of January. However, the current health situation has dampened hopes of a partial return to normality and forced organisers to adapt the programme of events for their respective celebrations.

The San Sebastián commission, the Penya La Burrera and CAE Tiraset, the latter two groups responsible for the Sant Antoni fiesta, have presented the programmes for the 2022 editions that open the fiesta calendar in Xàbia, both of which have been adapted considerably to acknowledge the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic in the region.

Sant Antoni Abad

Thus, for the fiestas honouring Sant Antoni Abad, any act which involves the removal of the mask has been removed from the programme, such as the children’s hot chocolate, the distribution of mistela and snacks during the traditional burning of the pine tree, and the snacks on the day of the blessing of the animals.

However, the most iconic acts of the fiesta – the transfer of the pine and its subsequent burning organised by CAE Tiraset – will be taking place on Saturday 15th January at 8.00pm in Calle San Antonio, the rough parking zone to the south of the old town.

On Sunday 16th January at 11.00am, a parade of horse-drawn carts and horses will make its usual round trip from the old town to the port and back, finishing in the Plaza de la Constitución where, at 1.00pm, the traditional blessing of the animals will be celebrated.

Today, Wednesday 12th January, the Penya La Burrera opens the Sant Antoni funfair in its usual location next to Avenida Palmela with rides and attractions that will run until Sunday 6th February. There will be reduced prices on Children’s Day on Friday 21st January.

On Monday 17th January at 12 noon, there will be a celebration of mass in honour of Sant Antoni in the port church of Loreto, following by the blessing of the bread and then a short parade with the image of the saint to the port promenade where the priest will bless the animals with the magical headland of San Antonio in the background.

Sant Sebastiá

As for the celebrations honouring Sant Sebastià, the patron saint of Xàbia, it will be a much reduced programme after it was decided to cancel all the bull-running events on which ACT Xàbia has been preparing for over the past few months.

Thus, Thursday 20th January will open with the ringing of the church bells followed by a traditional wake-up parade around the old town. At 8.00pm, a solemn mass in honour of the patron saint will be held in the church of San Bartolomé.

On Saturday 22nd January at 10.30am, weather permitting, a children’s storyteller will be offering tales to the young ones, an event initially scheduled for the Casa de la Cultura but moved to the outdoors on Plaza de la Constitución.

The programme will be brought to a close on Sunday 30th January with the San Sebastiá Patró de Xàbia cycling race.

Councillor Kika Mata (Fiestas) thanked all the organising groups for their understanding that the ongoing health situation has made it impossible to celebrate certain events, despite the fact that these groups have been preparing for some time with the hope that 2022 could start with something that is so much needed by the people right now, and that it is restore to joy of the fiesta to life again.

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