Saturday, February 21, 2015

Horse Riding and Swimming

Horse Riding and "Swimming" in the Fire (Spain)

Spaniards, like no, love bright and spectacular festivals. On the night of January 17 in the small town of San Bartolome de Pinares Spaniards celebrated the feast day of St. Anthony, who is considered the patron saint of animals. In honor of this celebration was held a centuries-old rite - "swimming" horses in the fire. After the church bell strikes midnight, fearless riders are beginning to demonstrate their skills by jumping through a flaming fire together with his loyal friends.

One might think that the traditional ritual of "bathing" horses in the fire no more than an extreme fun and effective presentation. However, the Spaniards believe that compliance with this tradition will save all the animals from disease and bring good luck for the whole year.

Fires fueled by the entire village to riders could overcome them like water. This year, through the narrow streets of San Bartolome de Pinares about a hundred horsemen galloped in order to honor St. Anthony. As is well known, St. Anthony was very pious man, in every way helped poor people and gave them his fortune. A native of Egypt, in his declining years went into the wilderness, where he spent his last days.

Many animal advocates claim that this tradition of celebrating the Day of St. Anthony causes stress in horses, and therefore want to protect the animals from the event. But locals are not going to change their traditions and not see them as danger to horses. Powerful argument in their favor is the fact that during the ritual "bathing" in the fire there was not a single traumatic event.