Thursday, 17 January 2008

Sant Antoni Abat: a Local Vilanova Holiday

Local holidays are a phenomenon in Catalonia to which Swedes are not used. They are nice for people who work in the town where they live but for many vilanovins, who commute to Barcelona, that is not the case. Who looks after your children when school is closed?

After all, the day of Sant Antoni Abat - the patron saint of animals - is only once a year. Historically on this day, horses and other animals used to be blessed by the priest and then made to complete three loops around the church, hence els Tres Tombs. Nowadays, Vilanova celebrates January 17 with a grandiose horse parade. It has looked more or less the same for over a century, but is highly appreciated, especially by children. Not ours, however. The youngest one fell asleep in his push-chair while his older brother kept on complaining about all the horse poo in the streets.

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