The feast of San Anton in Maro

The celebration of one of the oldest and most important religious festivals held in Maro, is due to take place this weekend. Sadly it, like many of our fiestas, has fallen foul of the new restrictions, and in its place there will be a simple Mass at the Church of the Maravillas on Sunday.

San Anton, the patron saint and protector of animals, is also the patron saint of Maro, so the celebrations on and around January 17th is always a fiesta that all Marenas look forward to with gusto.

Last year we took part in it too, and it was just fabulous. A very jolly feast of community spirit, sharing food and drink and laughter.

It took place over two days, firstly with the statue of San Anton atop the heavy , and much decorated platform, held by men of the village, leading a very spiritually moving procession through the village streets, accompanied by a brass band, with many local dignitaries following. It was just wonderful. There were fireworks, ( of course) ,and a huge bonfire in the village square by the church.

The second tradition, the like of which I had never seen before, is the lighting of bonfires in every street, and by this I mean every street, and outside most front doors. The wood, (and piles of sand) is delivered a few days before, ensuring the safety of all, and then after dark, the partying begins.

Everyone serves food, barbecues are lit, and the wine poured. Neighbours are in and out of each others houses, and everyone shares everything, late into the night. There is singing and much carousing, and a great deal of fun .

We will really miss it this year!

An old photograph taken in the 1970s,of Calle Real during San Anton

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