Celebration for St Anthony Abbot

21 Jan. Traditional bonfire for Anthony Abbot patron of animals.
The picturesque village of Morimondo in Milan province will be the setting on Sunday for the traditional bonfire of S. Antonio Abate.
The bonfire will be the centre of celebrations with sweets, cakes, chocolate and vin brulé (mulled wine).
The saint’s name-day was on 17 January, the date when priests around the continent blessed the animals brought to them for the annual rite. The tradition is said to arise from the temptation of the third-century St Anthony while he had retired into the desert around Alexandria in Egypt to meditate as a hermit. The devil sent wild animals to attack him, but Anthony remained unimpressed and persuaded them to leave him in peace.
Only 30 km from the centre of Milan in the Ticino national park near Abbiategrasso, Morimondo is famous for its abbey and pretty central square and side-streets, and is a popular destination for an easy weekend trip out of town.