The feast day of St Anthony falls on 17 January. The patron saint of animals is celebrated in two ways in Spain.

In the village of San Bartolome de los Pinares, about 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Madrid, horses are ridden through flames. In a tradition known as Luminarias, dating back 500 years, people jump their horses through bonfires on the narrow cobblestone streets to purify the animals with the smoke.

Pet owners celebrate San Anton by taking their beloved animals to a church to be blessed. Priests use holy water to bless all creatures great and small, mostly pet dogs, but also birds, mice, turtles, etc.

horse fire spain
A man rides his horse through the flames during the annual "Luminarias" festival in the village of San Bartolome de los Pinares, SpainReuters
fire horse silhouette
The dramatic event marks the feast day of St Anthony, patron saint of animalsReuters
priest blesses dog
A worried dog veers away from a priest's blessing in MadridReuters
blessing mouse
A priest blesses a mouse in a cage outside Madrid's San Anton ChurchReuters
fire horse fall
A woman falls with her horse as they attempt to jump through flames in San Bartolome de los PinaresReuters
fire horse smoke
A rider prepares to ride through flames in the village of San Bartolome de los PinaresReuters
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Drinking wine during San Bartolome de los Pinares festivitiesReuters
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The traditional Luminarias is said to purify animalsReuters
st anthony budgies
Even budgies get a blessingReuters
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Dogs sit on their owners' laps during a special mass in Madrid on the feast day of St Anthony, Spain's patron saint of animalsReuters