MARRANO DE SAN ANTÓN
Every year on June 13, MARRANO DE SAN ANTÓN - the town of La Alberca in the province of Salamanca, becomes the site of a marvellous spectacle, and the Iberian pig plays a major role.
This day has been launched into the streets of this beautiful city with its amazing architecture since the Middle Ages, with about twenty kilos of pigs, and the fiesta "Marrano de San Antón" can begin. A pig named Antón is blessed by the pastor and a bell is tied around his neck.
Since then, the animal has walked freely through the streets of the city and people take care of it with all care. The local animal is fed, watered, given a treat and even housed at home in various shelters at night. Tourists are often surprised when, after their wanderings through the ancient city, they meet a large pig, which in more than seven months of wandering will reach a weight of about 170 kilograms. The whole tradition has its peak on the feast of St. Antonín, ie on 17 January (in reality, this is the first Saturday following 17 January), when the piglet is handed over to the winner of the year-round raffle and the money raised is provided for a selected charity project. In earlier times, the pig was handed over to the poorest family in the city.
According to certain sources, the "Marrano de San Antón" has been celebrated since the 16th century, when the converted Jews in La Alberca proved their Christianity by fattening a pig and thus protected themselves from the Inquisition. It is said that tradition has never been lost since then and is so popular that even in Plaza del Solano Cimero, a pig has its own stone statue.