You have in your hands the program of the festive cycle of Sant Antoni in Barcelona, which is held for the third consecutive year. Despite being a recent cycle, the festivals and activities that comprise it are not new: this is the case of the Tres Tombs of Barcelona, which has been celebrated for 195 years, and that of Sant Andreu, which, despite being younger, is already 93 years old. There are also some more new acts, but already well-established in the territory where they are made, such as the Tres Tombs Infernals de Sant Andreu, Foguerons de Sant Antoni de sa Pobla in Gràcia and Porkada del Clot.
The set of activities, which covers almost all of the month of January, makes Sant Antoni a true winter party in the city. On the Barcelona holiday calendar, it is clear that once the Christmas festivities are over, the festive cycle of Sant Antoni begins.
The cycle is very varied and takes very different forms: it encompasses a series of acts about fire, horses, carriages and even devils. It also has the peculiarity that, although the acts are repeated year after year, they are never exactly the same. It is a lively celebration, which people are participating. One of the novelties this year, for example, is the new route of the Tres Tombs parade of the city, which will give a special role to the renewed market of Sant Antoni.
The relations between Catalunya and Mallorca are also tightening every year with the Foguerons of Sant Antoni de sa Pobla in Gràcia. The festival always presents a new events and this year will be the exhibition 'Mil dimonis' which brings together more than fifty samples of demons from all over the world: from Mallorca to Japan through Italy. The show is the result of the search of the anthropologist Francesc Alemany and the illustration work of Melicotó and will stop at Gràcia on the occasion of the bonfires.
Therefore, from January 10th - the day the Tradicionàrius festival starts - until January 25, which is when the last Foguerons de sa Pobla act takes place in Gràcia, you have more than twenty activities for enjoy related to the festive cycle of Sant Antoni.
Friday 10 January
The beginning of the Tradicionàrius festival marks the end of the Christmas season and tells us that another begins: that of the Sant Antoni’s. The festival, with more than thirty years of experience, is one of the most outstanding in the country in the folk genre.
But that's not all: there will also be the traditional inauguration parade through the streets of Vila de Gràcia, by the Kabum percussion group and the Guirigall group.
Location: Pl. Vila de Gràcia and Centre Artesà Tradicionàrius (CAT, Pl. Anna Frank, s/n)
Timetable: 10 pm: opening retinue at Plaça de la Vila al CAT - 10.30 pm: concert
Concert ticket price: at the booking office, €15 / in advance, €12 / Friends of the CAT, €8
The Tradicionàrius Folk Festival will continue up to 3 April. You will find a full programme on: www.tradicionarius.cat
Saturday 11 January
There are numerous versions of the St Anthony legend. One of the most original is the one that the Satànica de Sant Andreu represents with the Tres Tombs Infernals. Mixing myth, fireworks and a triple fire run, the group with over twenty-five years behind it explains how Satan tempted St Anthony with very earthly pleasures: power, drink and sex. Something that varies every year is the setting for the legend. This year's event will be set in a hospital.
Sunday 12 January
Horses, horse riders and every kind of carriage: barouches, berlins, tartanas, phaetons and carts etc. One of the most distinctive and traditional features of the Sant Antoni festival cycle is the Tres Tombs cavalcade. The first that is held in the city is the one from the of village of Sant Andreu de Palomar. The procession, which includes a group of lancers from the Guàrdia Urbana [city police] and a music band, goes around the route's most central streets three times. But note that this year's event will see a change to its traditional route owing to public works on the market!
Saturday 25 January
The city's oldest Tres Tombs cavalcade – it’s already 195 years old! – starts at 10:30 a.m. from the junction between avinguda Paral·lel and carrer de Tamarit. The central event is an animal pass consisting of horses, donkeys and somersas that make a circuit through the city center riding or pulling carriages. But the procession takes a few stops from one end of the long route: at 10.45, it will be the first one to read the proclamation before the Mercat de Sant Antoni, which this year will be given by Emilio J. Zegrí, president of the Federació Catalana d'Hípica.
Saturday 18 January
The latest incorporation into the Sant Antoni's festival cycle is the Porkada del Clot, a festival that combines fire with food. It also puts the limelight, what is more, on the “porquet” or little pig, a lesser-known part of the St Anthony the Abbot legend. It's fours year now since the Diables del Clot has been organised and the festival centred on the Pork del Clot big head. It kicks off with a tapas route, followed by a fire run with all the figures of the popular imagination representing animals from pig family and ends with an evening of tapas prepared with pig's meat.
Thursday 17 January
Thursday 23 January
Good and music are two excellent ways for taking a deep look at culture. And this is the aim of the first event at the Foguerons de sa Pobla a Gràcia, an evening at the Bar del CAT starting with a tasting session of Majorcan products and followed by a recital open to everyone, performed by the Glosadors de les Illes folk-singers. This is a must-see show presented by the folk-singer Mateu Xurí, combining “sobrassada” [a Majorcan cured pork sausage] with a recital from Maribel Servera and “botifarrons” [black puddings] with folk ballads from Catalina Canyelles!
Friday 24 January
This talk is related to the exhibition that can be seen these days at the Centre Artesà Tradicionàrius and will be led by Sebastià Serra Busquets.
Have you ever danced ball de bot? It is the traditional dance of Mallorca and every year, an emblem that comes from the island does a free workshop at Tradicionàrius. This year the formation Cofre Antic and Roada has been chosen, which after the workshop will also offer a dance show concert. And, finally, everyone who encourages them will be able to put into practice the knowledge learned with an open dance.
Saturday 25 January
Can you imagine yourselves going shopping at the market one Saturday morning and coming across the traditional sounds of Majorca? Well, that's “Folk als Mercats” [Folk comes to Markets], a local-music concert programme being held in four markets in the district of Gràcia. The shawm group Xeremiers and the Glosadors de Mallorca will be filling the crowd at the market with rhythm and folk music, to mark the Foguerons festival.
The 'teresetes' are the Mallorcan traditional puppets and has already become a tradition that every year has a role to do with the Foguerons of Sant Antoni de sa Pobla in Gràcia. This year the representation will be given by the company Teresetes Migjorn, which will represent the children's story 'Titirimàgia'.
Gràcia popular-culture groups and the sa Pobla's groups will gather together at 7.30 pm at Plaça de la Vila, where they will perform step-dancing. This is an event not to be missed: you will traditional Majorcan devils dancing side by side with Gràcia fire beasts. And all that seasoned with the Xeremiers de Mallorca, who will play a sound, accompanied by the band of flabiols and bagspipes the Sacairada.
The dancing will be followed by Gràcia popular culture groups and sa Pobla's groups, who will be taking part in a festive parade, setting off from Plaça de la Vila and finishing at Plaça de la Virreina, the setting of eleven of the festival’s bonfires. Come and walk along Gràcia streets with Majorcan and Barcelonian groups!
Bonfire lighting signals the start to evening festival, one of the most popular and crowd-drawing events of the festival. Meat will be roasted around the fire and songs will be sung and traditional dancing performed. This year's event will include eleven bonfires distributed around Gràcia’s streets and squares. Plaça del Diamant will be playing host to the Festa de sa Ximbomba, featuring folk singing, songs and shawms starting at 9.30 pm. And there will be an evening part at the same time at Plaça de la Virreina, offering sa Pobla ximbombes [friction drumming] and folk singers, followed by a dance performed by Roada and Cofre Antic (11 pm).
In the twenty-eight years that the tradition of the Foguerons de Sant Antoni de sa Pobla in Gràcia has been going on, good posters have been made to announce them.
The Sa Pobla bonfires were expanded into other parts of the city some years ago, and they can now be seen in three neighbourhoods outside of Gràcia.