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Ibiza Fiestas - Fiesta of San Bartolome, San Antonio

If you're on the island, don't miss Fiesta of San Bartolome, San Antonio

For a comprehensive list of Fiestas on Ibiza during the year, please see Calendar of Fiesta Days

August 24th sees the most fervently celebrated of San Antonio's fiestas, and whilst it is commonly attributed to San Bartolome, traditionally it is also to honour Santa Agnes.

Back in the tenth century, when the Moors conquered Ibiza, there were only a handful of Christians on the island. The Arabs allowed the Christians to practice their religion in a small cave near San Antonio, which became known as Cova Santa, or Holy Cave.

Legend has it that one distant past day of San Bartolome, a ship was guided to the port of San Antonio during a sea storm. One of the passengers on board was carrying a talisman of Santa Agnes and had vowed that, should he be saved, he would leave the figure at the place he was rescued. Subsequently, he passed his talisman to the priest of San Antonio and a chapel was made inside the Holy Cave to venerate Santa Agnes, who was believed to have miraculously saved the ship.

As part of the Fiesta of San Bartolome celebrations today, the local people walk to the Holy Cave where solemn mass is held in honour of Santa Agnes.

Of course, in true Ibiza style, the festivities stretch out for days with children's activities, markets, a fun fair, live music and sports amongst the many activities to be enjoyed.

The Feast Day itself on the 24th - incidentally a public holiday - starts with a barrage of firecrackers at 8 a.m. Chocolate drinks and pastries are served and all of the fun and games are focused around the centre of San Antonio.

In the evening there is a celebratory mass and procession at 8 p.m, followed by a display of traditional Ibiza folk dancing near the fountains, and live music.

The festivities end with a spectacular firework display at midnight.

All the entertainment is absolutely free and the Fiesta of San Bartolome is the perfect way for holidaymakers in Ibiza to see how the locals really party!

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