Santa Eulalia: Honouring a saint, celebrating a tradition

Santa Eulalia: Honouring a saint, celebrating a tradition.

Santa Eulalia: Honouring a saint, celebrating a tradition. Image: Museo de la Villa de Sax.

The celebration of Santa Eulalia occurs on the weekend following February 12, honouring the town’s ancient patron saint since the reconquest in 1239.

In 1240, Don Lope Martin, commander of the Calatrava order in Teruel, led his troops to conquer Sax, Villena, Salinas, and Bogarra from Islamic control for the Kingdom of Aragon.

The festival commemorates a miraculous battle between the Moors and Christians.

According to local tradition and the 1772 Ordinances of the Villa de Sax, the battle was led by the Catalan noble Berenguer de Entenza.

With the help of Santa Eulalia, the patron saint of Barcelona, the Christians defeated the Saracens.

Annual Pilgrimage

In gratitude, a hermitage was built at the battle site, known as “Prados de Santa Eulalia,” and a vow was made to hold an annual pilgrimage in her honour.

On the day of the festival, the poor and clerics were fed, mass was preached and processions with music were held, all funded by the Council.

This tradition has been upheld ever since, making the Festival of Santa Eulalia one of the oldest in the region.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.