THE FESTIVAL OF SANT ANTONI D’ASCÓ HAS KNOWN HOW TO PRESERVE TRADITIONS THAT GO DUE TO GENERATIONS. IT IS RECOGNIZED AS A HERITAGE FESTIVAL OF NATIONAL INTEREST.
Carmel Biarnés locates the origin of the dance of the jota of Ascó to the Moorish time, because in the “Ordinances of the town of Ascó” of 1520 the dance is already mentioned. The Clavari and the Majorals, that appear referenced in 1739 carry out the celebration like organizers and perpetuators of this one. The festival, which becomes unique in all the towns of the Tarragona region, has a whole series of characteristic features that make it unique, such as the survival of the figures of the Clavari and the Majorals, in charge of the organization; the fold, with the collection of firewood by all the town; the traditional Three Tombs, with the blessing of the animals and the blessed bread; the traditional and popular races of horses, donkeys and mules, the only ones in the Ribera d’Ebre that have never stopped taking place; the lighting of the bonfire in the square that burns for three days uninterruptedly while the Ascó jota is danced, with its own music and dance. The winter festival becomes paradigmatic by perfectly combining devotion to the Saint with recreational, pagan activity. In 2010, it was awarded the distinction of Heritage Festival of National Interest by the Generalitat de Catalunya. This festival takes place on the weekend closest to January 17 (Sant Antoni Abat). Apart from the popular festival, there are also a series of events, such as dancing, concerts and various festive activities. We recommend that you schedule a visit to Sant Antoni and get to know our town in full swing.