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Single women and pet lovers gear up for San Anton festivities in Mijas
Traditions

Single women and pet lovers gear up for San Anton festivities in Mijas

The festival, which dates back to the 15th century, is associated with religious rites that include the blessing of animals, and the strange ritual of throwing stones at the saint

Friday, 12 January 2024, 09:59

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Mijas will celebrate one of its oldest and most deeply rooted festivities on Wednesday 17 January, the San Anton festival, a unique event that dates back to the 15th century.

The event begins at midday at the shrine of San Antón in Osunillas, where the parish priest of Mijas Pueblo will officiate mass in honour of the saint, the patron of animals.

The festival, which includes the tasting of typical food, is associated with religious rites that include the blessing of animals, mainly those used for agricultural work, such as horses, donkeys, or oxen, although today many people bring domestic animals.

The festivities will include the ‘baile de la rueda’ (dance of the wheel), and the strange ritual of throwing stones at the saint. According to tradition, unmarried women came to ask San Antón for help in finding a fiancée. This involved throwing three small stones at the image, and, if they hit the saint’s crotch, their wish would come true.

Festivals and traditions councillor Silvia Marín said, “The festivity of San Antón is one of Mijas Pueblo’s most deeply-rooted events, and the involvement and participation of the residents is essential for it to continue.”

It is believed that the tradition of blessing animals comes from the time when Saint Anton discovered wisdom by observing animals and divine love through nature.

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