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San Antonio


La santantonà of Todolella is celebrated in mid-February. This ancient ritual takes place during the celebration of the San Antonio festival. It involves a bonfire in the main square, the purification, and the true start of the Pagan year within Christian tradition. This ceremony pits the forces of heaven and hell against each other in different ways according to the place where it is celebrated and its accompanying tradition. In Todolella, after the life of the saint is staged, he falls to the forces of temptation and hell. He is then taken through the village streets as devils repeat dance steps to the sound of the esquelles, which are small bells that the main devil who heads the group, wears on its belt. At the end, they follow the sound of the dulzaina and the drum until the saint dies in the bonfire (it must be mentioned that this ends differently in other places, as here the saint is not saved). It is a striking and solemn performance, made even more surprising by the sight of the village children striking the saint as he passes them.

 


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