ENGLISH Folklore

Earthenware Pitcher Party

The village of Argentona keeps celebrating the ceremonies that saved the village from the epidemic it suffered two hundred years ago.

The 4th of August, in the village of Argentona (Catalonia), for the Saint Dominic’s celebration, the village organizes strength games and passacaglias of giants to accompany the benediction of the Saint Domingo’s waters and the renovation of the “village’s vow”. Both ceremonies are more than two hundred years old.

Story has it, that in mid-17th century, the village of Argentona was being devastated by an epidemic. Despaired, the village appealed to Saint Dominic, patron saint of the waters, in order to help them to cure the outbreak. Miraculously, the Saint attended to the prayers and the epidemic stopped. From then on, the water from Saint Domingo’s fountain is believed to have healing powers if it’s drunk from a new earthenware pitcher.

Every year, in Saint Dominic’s day, the fountain’s waters are consecrated by the priest of the village with one of the few blessing rituals found in Catalonia. After the benediction of the waters, two earthenware pitches full of blessed water pass from citizen to citizen, who have a drink. However, before blessing the water, the mayor gives a speech in order to renew the “Village’s Vow”. This ceremony, unique in the country, consists in making a collective, public and solemn promise, that the villagers must fulfil before the 4th of August of the following year. In 2019, the mayor, after condemning gender violence, with the voice given by the village, he promised to keep fighting for the gender equality.

What once was known as Plea of Saint Dominic, celebrated with religious reasons, today has become the saint patron of the village and Saint Dominic’s day is celebrated as the “Festa del Càntir” (Earthenware Pitcher Party). This party that accompanies the ceremonies consists in games related with water and earthenware Pitchers. While the youngest play the fishing of the earthenware pitch or blow through the big pipe, the most important game for the adults is the earthenware pitch hoisting competition. The contestants have to lift earthenware pitches full of water off the ground and have a drink while the public cheers them. Every earthenware pitch weights more than the previous one and the contestant that hoists more pitches in the less possible time is the winner. Just a few arrive to the last earthenware pitch, and even less get to lift it, since it’s more than a meter high and its weight is 200 Kg. Nevertheless, the 2019 champion lifted it and had a nice drink.


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