Closely related to Carnival, the Tres Tombs feast is held –at least since 1826– in Sant Antoni neighbourhood, the heart of Eixample district. Cavalcada dels Tres Tombs de Sant Antoni is a traditional Catalan festival that honors St. Anthony, the Patron Saint of animals, the poor and the sick. “Tres” means three, and the word “tombs” means “tours” or “walks” in Catalan, so “Tres Tombs” in Catalan translates as “three tours” in English. so don’t expect a ghostly vampire parade with three coffins on a cart. The names is derived from the tradition of the “Tres Tombs” parade going around the same route three times.
In homage to muleteers, wagoners and peasant farmers, the horse parade is performed by ancient carriages animal drawn and several riders.
The legend says that Saint Anthony the abbot was a great friend of animals since the Saint devoted himself protecting welfare of animals and cargo used in the field work. The parade has therefore deep roots in the history of the Catalan peasantry. Today, people bring their pets to the Tres tombs parade to be blessed. When the parade reaches the church “La Escola Pia de Sant Antoni” on Ronda de Sant Pau, 72 it’s time for the animal blessing tradition that is a highlight of the parade. After parade animals are being blessed first and the parade has passed people can bring their domestic animals to be blessed by a priest.
The parade route is long and worth seeing because the “Cabalgata dels Tres Tombs” is like a moving museum of 35 floats and carriages, many of which are vintage animal-drawn carts from bygone days including fire-engines, hearses, beer wagons and many more. It’s a fun procession! In Barcelona the parade is located in Sant Antoni area, Eixample district and it starts at the corner of Calàbria Street and Floridablanca Street at 11:00 on the 25th January 2014. The route is the following: Comte Borrell, Parlament, Ronda de Sant Pau, Comte d’Urgell, Floridablanca, Rda. Sant Antoni, Plaça Universitat, Pelai, Rambla (towards the port), Colom, Rambla (upwards from the port), Ferran, Plaça Sant Jaume in Ciutat Vella. The parade ends at Plaça de Sant Miquel.