The Sant Antoni cycle, a festival experienced in many different ways in Barcelona, has begun.

08/01/2020 12:20 h

Esther Estela

The refrain goes: ‘St Anthony with the little pig, his day always falls on the seventeenth’, referring to 17 January, the saint’s day of St Anthony the Abbot. But here in Barcelona the festival is not just for a day: it’s a festive cycle that includes the whole month of January and a series of fairly varied events centred on fire, horses, carriages and even all the devils.

Official opening of the 32nd edition of the Tradicionàrius International Folk Festival
The start of the Tradicionàrius Festival rounds off the Christmas cycle and marks the start of another cycle in the city: that of the Sant Antoni festivities. This year’s edition kicks off with a concert by Roger Andorrà, who will be presenting ‘Electrogralla’, a show based on the legacy of 19th-century gralla music combined with current music, connecting the traditional double-reeded instrument to electronic pedals. When will it be held? On Friday, 11 January.

Els Tres Tombs Infernals, a classic of Sant Andreu popular culture
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. When will it be held? On Saturday 12 January.

The Tres Tombs de Sant Andreu Parade, the first in the city
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 procession. The first that is held in the city is the one from the of village of Sant Andreu de Palomar. When will it be held? On Sunday 13 January.

The long tradition of the ‘Tres Tombs of Sant Antoni’ procession.
The city’s oldest Tres Tombs procession – it’s already 194 years old! – will set off from Esquerra de l’Eixample and will head for the recently refurbished Mercat de Sant Antoni market. There, Joan Anton Torralba, the president of the Federation of Festival Groups of Sant Medir, will make the opening announcement. The long procession, composed of horses and carriages of every kind, will then resume its walk through the heart of the city. When will it be held? On Saturday 19 January.

Porkada del Clot, the latest event to join the cycle
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. Don’t miss the fire run led by beasts representing pig-like animals, or the pork-based tapas route. When will it be held? On Saturday 19 January.

The bonfires of Sant Antoni de sa Pobla, Gràcia’s winter annual festival
About a dozen bonfires spread out across the streets and squares of Gràcia and the union between Gràcia’s and Majorca’s popular culture festival groups. This is the start of the Sant Antoni de sa Pobla bonfires, a three-day festival that also includes an evening of gloss, exhibitions, traditional Majorcan puppets, concerts, ball de bot dance workshops and more. When will it be held? From 24 to 26 January.