The streets of the Balearic Islands have been filled once again, after two years of restrictions, with devotees of Sant Antoni who have joined in the fire, smoke, music, and revelry… the whole island is celebrating, the caparrots, the giants and the demons.

TDB keeps you informed. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Sant Antoni

This is what we have been able to see in the different municipalities.

The festival of Sant Antoni Abad takes place on 17 January and celebrates the patron saint of the winter festival, which alternates with the other festival, Sant Bartomeu, the patron saint of the summer festival.

Saint Anthony Abbot was a man with many possessions who left everything to the neediest to live in the desert. He found this solitude in the first place where he settled, which is a cemetery. Thus near his native village, he begins to experience strange episodes with demons in the form of animals that he chases to death.

This quest for solitude led him to cross the Nile and he retired to Mount Pispir where he spent 20 years in absolute solitude, with the little help of a few people who threw food over the wall of his humble dwelling. There he had a series of disciples who settled in nearby caves and huts, forming an incipient colony of ascetics who adopted him as their model.

And… the tradition of blessing animals?

It is said to date back to colonial times. According to the different writings on the figure of the saint, he discovered wisdom by observing animals and divine love through nature. For this reason, he became the patron saint of animals. In fact, pet owners – devotees of the patron saint or lovers of popular traditions – take dogs, cats and all kinds of animals, very decorated, to receive his blessing in the events or festivities organised by each municipality in the days before or after his name day.