San Antonio del Monte, 2011

White horse parading at San Antonio del Monte, Garafía
White horse parading at San Antonio del Monte

 
This weekend will see the biggest livestock fair on the island, in Garafía.

Ram with curly horns on show at San Antonio del Monte fair, Garafía
Ram with curly horns on show at San Antonio del Monte fair

San Antonio del Monte used to be a village, but the villagers moved away. About the only thing that’s left is the church of St. Anthony and the feast day, with it’s massive fair. Apart from the animals, there’s a craft fair, and of course lots of stalls selling cheap toys, food and drink.

The chapel at San Antonio del Monte, Garafía
The chapel at San Antonio del Monte

It’s a pretty enough little church, and for most of the weekend it will be crowded with people visiting the saint and touching his belt.

Touching the statue's belt for a blessing, San Antonio del Monte, Garafía
Touching the statue’s belt for a blessing

On Sunday, after the special mass, the statues are taken out to the fairground in a procession, and the priest blesses the animals.

The traditional blessing for the animals, San Antonio del Monte fair, Garafía
The traditional blessing for the animals

The weather can be baking hot,  but as you can see from the photos, sometimes the clouds blow in. It’s a good idea to take both sunscreen and jumpers.

 

The procession to bless the animals, San Antonio del Monte fair, Garafía
The procession to bless the animals

After the procession and blessing, they have live music and dancing.

Dancing at San Antonio del Monte, Garafía
Couple dancing at the fiesta

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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