17.1.07

San Antón


I´m terribly busy these days, which is all to the good of my mortgage but not so good for my social life or my absentmindedness or my blogging. I totally forgot to check who had won my prizes of the Menu for Hope III. Luckily the winners did, and so, excuse me please and many congratulations,Star and Magda, and thanks again to everyone who took part in this wonderful event.

I´d meant to post about sesame seeds today, but that will have to wait because today is San Antón, the patron of domestic animals (and butchers and basket weavers, apparently). There´s a church nearby dedicated to him, and a colourful little procession.

San Antón is celebrated in many villages around the country, and there it´s all bonfires and high jinks and lots of food. Here it´s not so gastronomic, but still, at la Duquesita, in calle Fernando VI,2 they have the special sweets of the day, roscos del santo I think they´re called, in several pretty colours. No idea what they are, but there was a long line, and now they´re not picking up the phone. I´m a terrible front line reporter.

Our tradition is to go to the church with your dog, cat, parrot, piglet or whatever and have it blessed. You then pick up some pan del santo. And in the afternoon there´s a procession of Madrid´s Finest animals. That is, police horses and dogs, and a squad of carrier pigeons from the Air Force.
There´s a band, they cut the traffic, and it´s all a pretty surprising thing to see in the middle of a working day, so if anyone´s around, I suggest you come here.
Pets welcome.

8 comentarios:

ann dijo...

Oh how wonderful!! The one day each year that I actually want to go to church is the blessing of the animals day... it has something to do with St. Francis, who's my favorite saint simply because he's the patron of animals... you can see where this is going.

I can't believe the Spanish Air Force still uses pigeons!!! I've got a few that have been, *ahem* busy on my windowsill the past few mornings that I'd be more than happy to sell them!

Now go on, get out there and eat some Pan!

Homesick Texan dijo...

When I lived in Granada many, many years ago, that was one of my favorite things about Spanish culture--the celebration of saint's days. Such joy and merriment all accompanied by great food and drink!

xps dijo...

I will go. In a minute, with the dogs.

La Marquesa de Bárbula dijo...

the priest has been since 8:30 am blessing animals, until 5:30... too bad for working dog-moms like me! Galganalga and Fígaro will have to wait until next year

:(

anyway, there's a tradition with this "pan del santo" you have to keep it in a tight container, tin, plastic bag, whatever... with a coin (of any currency) until jan 17 next year, then you eat it... if you do this you can be sure you're going to have bread and money all year round!

and don't be afraid about eating the bread a year older because, it is made by nuns using a very ancient recipe... it's as good after a year as it is just baked!

good luck!

MyKitchenInHalfCups dijo...

I'm going to chuckle about the pigeon air force all day!
If I were there, I sure would be there with my puppy. (but i don't have a puppy right now - sure miss mine.)
Sounds like wonderful frolicking!

nopisto dijo...

Damn I didn't win the prizes of the Menu for Hope. At least i did a good action.

ccw dijo...

man i am so jealous of magda! i was lusting after that watercolor cos i thought the woman in it kinda looks like my grandmother in her cheongsam circa 1930.
Aw shucks :,(
I guess I'll just have to wait till it gets super famous one day and there will be prints and postcards. :)

jess dijo...

Darn! I always miss these kinds of things. Sounds like so much fun for a weekday.

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