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Fiesta of San Antón de Jaén (16 and 17 January)

Jaen has celebrated the Fiesta of San Anton since the 13th century. Join in the festivities on 16 and 17 January 2025!

By Nick Nutter | Updated 1 May 2024 | Jaén | Events | Login to add to YOUR Favourites Favourites Icon or Read Later

This article has been visited 3,282 times

Jaén has celebrated San Antón de Jaén since the 13th century. In 1246, Jaén was reconquered from the Moors. In their attempts to retake the city they were thwarted thanks to the excellent marksmanship of the Christian crossbowmen. In honour of those men, a chapel was built in the cathedral, dedicated to San Antón.

The night of the 16th and 17th January has been a celebrated ever since.

Las Lumbres de San Antón (the Fire Festival)

On the evening of 16 January, bonfires are lit all over the city of Jaén. A religious blessing of animals takes place on the steps of the cathedral. Children from all over the city bring their dogs, cats, hamsters, birds and other pets to be blessed.

Following this ceremony, at about 9.00pm, the first bonfire is lit in the main square. Beer and roasted sausages and cuts of pork are distributed to the crowd. Other stalls hand out chorizo, roast pumpkin and popcorn.

Similar parties are going on all over the city. Many bonfires burn effigies made from old clothes, straw and sawdust. The party lasts until dawn.

On 17 January, the crowds re-assemble about 10.00am in Plaza de la Constitución where a band entertains them until it is time for a procession. The ritual is repeated at 12 noon after which people pack into the cathedral for mass.

San Antón Night International Urban Race

In 1984, an addition was made to the traditional San Antón celebrations: the San Antón night race.

There are two races, both of which attract international athletes. One is 4 kilometres in length and is for ages 9 to 14 years, the second 9 kilometres for adults. Both races start and finish in the Glorieta de Blas Infante, at the end of Avenida de Andalucía.

The first race starts about 7.30pm and the second about 8.30pm.

The prizes are a little unusual. The male and female winners of the first race is awarded his or her weight in trinkets whilst the male and female winners of the second receives his or her weight in olive oil.

Other Towns in Andalucia that Celebrate San Antón on 16 or 17 January

Jaén is not the only town in Andalucia that celebrates San Antón!

You can also experience this festival in:
  • Almeria
  • Chirivel
  • Granada
  • Orce
  • Huelva
  • Alonso
  • Arquillos
  • Jodat
  • Ubeda
  • Malaga
  • Armilla (17 January)
  • Monachil (17 January)
  • Cuevas Bajas (17 January)
  • Cuevas del Becarro (17 January)
  • Nerja (17 January)
  • Sedella (17 January)

More on Jaén

For more on Jaén, read our visitors guide to Jaén city.

Jaén Hotels: Map

Looking for a place to stay in Jaén? Use the map below to browse hotels based on location!


Recommended Spain Travel Resources

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