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Feast Day of San Antonio de Abad, Saint Anthony Abbot
January 17 – Feast Day of San Antonio de Abad (Saint Anthony Abbot)
Feast Day of de San Antonio de Abad is a religious holiday during which the Catholic Church allows animals to enter the church for blessing.
January 17th is the Feast of San Antonio Abad, who is also known as San Antón in Spain. Although he was a hermit from Egypt, since Medieval times he has been the patron saint of domestic animals. To celebrate his feast, the night before and the day of the actual feast on January 17th, the Spanish build huge bonfires or hogueras in the streets, especially in Andalucia, Castilla-La Mancha, the Community of Valencia and Aragón. In Cataluna and the Balearic Islands, there are mounted processions in the streets. The townspeople gather around the bonfires, visit, eat, dance and drink.