Fiesta de San Antonio Abad

Let’s see — I really don’t know much about this one, so any help I can get from the readers of Hola Valencia, I’ll appreciate!

San Antonio Abad, or Anthony the Great in English, was a 3rd Century Catholic monk from Egypt, who’s venerated for spreading the idea of monasticism. He’s especially famous as the first religious figure to retreat into nature as a way to “reconnect”, and is the patron saint of animals. His Saint’s Day is January 17th, and is celebrated here in Valencia, in the neighborhood which takes his name.

The festivities began this week, with equestrian exhibitions from the 13th to the 16th. On the evening of Saturday the 16th, at 21h, there’s a street bonfire. The next morning, there’s a crazy parade.

The parade might be a lot of fun. Ole St. Tony is the patron of Animals, and loads of people bring their pets to get blessed. The benediction and parade of animals begins at 11am in the barrio de San Antonio. I think we’ll be there with our rotten little devil, Chucky. I wouldn’t be surprised if she bites a priest.

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