Not even two signs of the beginning of the year have passed and the first celebrations of the year in Barcelona are about to begin.
The festivities in commemoration of Sant Antoni Abad, on 17 January, have a traditional character and a deeply rooted family component in the Sant Antoni district of Barcelona. In this edition of 2020, the festivities and celebrations will last from January 17th to 26th. Its maximum exponent is materialized with the famous Three Tombs parade that takes place on Saturday, January 25.
Throughout the week there will be all kinds of activities for young and old. Concerts of all kinds of music will be held in the streets of the neighbourhood, as well as parades, popular meals, correfocs, concerts and a popular race on Sunday 19th January with a good number of participants.
Saturday 25th January is the main day of the Sant Antoni neighbourhood festivities with the celebration of the mythical Cabalgata de los Tres Tombs (Three Tombs Parade). This year marks the 195th edition, a historic parade through the city centre whose origins date back to the early nineteenth century and whose residents still enjoy it as they did on the first day.
Tres Tombs in Catalan means Three Turns. English-speaking tourists should not be confused and expect to find a Halloween show in the heart of Barcelona. The origin of its name probably comes from the number of laps around the neighborhood that the procession used to take at the beginning.
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Today, the route runs through the Sant Antoni district, goes up to Plaza Universidad, faces the Ramblas until it reaches Colón and from there goes up again to finally reach Plaza de Sant Jaume through Calle Ferrán. If you are passing through Barcelona it is a great opportunity to visit the city centre in a lively and well accompanied way.
The Three Tombs Parade is an open-air museum suitable for all ages, especially for family enjoyment with the little ones. Here you will see lancers of the Guardia Urbana, squads on horseback, riders displaying the banner of Sant Antoni, horses and ponies of the best breeds and a whole parade of period carriages that stop time and transport us to another era.
During the procession a curious blessing is given to the pets. As we cross the Escola Pia de Sant Antoni in the Ronda de Sant Pau, a priest climbs into one of the carriages and blesses with water those dogs, cats, hamsters and birds that people bring from the street to the priest’s presence. So you know, if you want to bless your dog or cat, you just have to go to the Escola Pia on January 17th.
Sant Antoni Abat is the patron saint of animals and that’s where this peculiar and fun tradition for the little ones comes from.
Tour of the Three Tombs Parade 2020:
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Program of activities of the Three Tombs
Although the Three Tombs parade through the Sant Antoni district is the most traditional and main attraction of the festival, from January 17th to 26th there will be different activities for all tastes:
Friday 17th – Blessing of animals
Blessing of the pets at Escola Pia from 11 am.
Saturday 18th – Opening speech and Reagee concert
Throughout the day there will be a second-hand market in Rocafort with Floridablanca whose profits will go to the NGO De Veí a Veí.
Proclamation, parade and welcome to the Festa Major from 12 o’clock onwards with devils, bigheaded people and so on. It starts in the Jardinets de l’Alguer and runs through a large part of the neighbourhood.
In the evening, at 9, the Reggaesplash concert will take place in Mistral Avenue (10 euros per ticket).
Sunday 19th – Popular race and havaneres concert
At 9:30 in the morning, the popular race of the neighborhood will begin, consisting of 10 kilometers. It leaves from Floridablanca with Viladomat. You can sign up until January 17th through the official website of Cursa Sant Antoni.
At noon, around 12, there will be a puppet show for the children in Borrell Street with Tamarit. At 7pm a concert of habaneras will take place on Mistral Avenue.
Friday 24th – Children’s activities and concert in Floridablanca
At 3:30 in the afternoon the youngest children visit the older ones at the Escuela Pía. From 4:30 to 7:30 there will be plenty of activities for the kids in the Borrell garages.
From 9pm there will be a free concert on Floridablanca Street with Borrell called “Monton Fiestao”.
Saturday 25th – Parade of the 3 Tombs in Sant Antoni
While the parade of the three tombs starts at 10:30, in Sant Jaume square there will be traditional dances and performances followed by a great tortell de Sant Antoni -roscón de Sant Antoni- that will last until it ends.
In the evening, among other activities, the meeting of children’s devils and the dance of the big party on Mistral Avenue stand out.
Sunday 26th – Firebreak
Starting at 7:45 pm, the Devils of Sant Antoni will carry out the co-fire with their adopted beast, La Porca. The route will be through the Jardinets de l’Alguer, Calàbria, Gran Via, Viladomat and back to Jardinets de l’Alguer.
Practical information on the Sant Antoni festival
From 17th to 26th January, the Three Tombs Parade will take place on Saturday 19th January between 10.30am and 2pm.
Starting address of the ride:Calle Calàbria, 59Barrio de Sant Antoni, Barcelona
Images provided by 3TombsBarcelona.cat
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