Festa dels Tres Tombs in Barcelona
On the 17th of January, the Spanish celebrate the Saint Antoni of Abat, or Anthony of Abbot. He is known as the patron of the animals, and especially so for the hoofed animals. It is said that when he saw an animal that required care, he provided it. One of these animals was a piglet, and after it had received care, the little piglet stayed with him. This is why he’s often pictured with a piglet at his feet. He lived between the 3rd and 4th century, and died on 17th of January.
During the event, there will be a cavalcade. This musical procession will be going through the city, with horses, donkeys and mules. The cavalcade is organised to bless the animals, so that animals wouldn’t fall sick and that the farmers would have a good harvest. Halfway during the procession, they will stop near the Escola Pia de Sant Antoni. This is where a priest will bless the animals. Originally, tres tombs means three tombs, but the procession doesn’t lead to these three holy tombs anymore.
The cavalcade has taken place since 1826, in the area of Sant Antoni. This was previously known as Portal de Sant Antoni Abat, also named after him. In the first hundred years, it was a perfectly normal thing to have animals in the city and for the people to own them. But they’re no longer something you’d see in the city. The cavalcade nowadays is more of a tribute towards the hoofed animals that have impacted and thrived the economical growth of the city.
The cavalcade is always held on the Saturday after the feast of Saint Anthony, which will be on Friday the 16th of January this year.