Festivities in honour of San Blas and Santa Águeda in Fonz

Festivities in honour of San Blas and Santa Águeda in Fonz
It celebrates: From 2nd February to 5th February
Place: Fonz (Huesca)
Category: Religious
Popularity: (***) 3/5
Ideal for children
Organize: Fonz Town Council
Known start date: Since 1626
Tags:
Free TastingsFireProcessions
Reading time: 6 minutes

In February, Fonz (Huesca) celebrates the festivities in honour of San Blas and Santa Águeda, where the locals hold a series of traditional events, such as the bonfire in the town square, popular meals, processions and events with a deep-rooted history such as the Ronda de la Mula, and the ascent to the Palo del Gallo. We tell you all about it.

What do the Fonz Festivities consist of?

On 2 February, the day of Candlemas and the eve of San Blas, a bonfire is lit in the square and remains alight all night. The villagers gather around the bonfire and distribute coca (sponge cake) and wine among all those present.

In the past it was traditional for the young men to jump over the bonfire, but this activity is no longer carried out nowadays. On the same night, in Calle San Blas, the residents of this street light another bonfire in honour of the saint at the same time.

A bonfire is lit in the square
A bonfire is lit in the square

On the day of the patron saint, 3 February, a mass is held in honour of San Blas and after the mass the saint is taken out in procession. In the past, the quintos were the ones who carried the image of San Blas on their shoulders.

Since 1986, the image of Santa Águeda has also been carried in the same procession, carried on the shoulders of the women of the village.

Ascent to the Madero del Gallo

After mass, the Madero del Gallo is climbed. The Madero del Gallo is a polished and soaped poplar trunk that is planted in the square a few days before the festival. This log, which is still used today, was felled in 1940. The act consists of the neighbour who climbs to the top of the tree and wins a cockerel as a prize.

The Round of the Mule

Another of the traditional events of these fiestas is the Ronda de la Mula (Mule Round). This event was organised by the "quintos" and it was a round that went through all the streets of the town in order to collect money to pay for the fiesta.

A mule was chosen for the Ronda, the most beautiful in the village, which was decorated and adorned. One of the fifths rode on it and went through the streets handing out sweets. Another of the fifths carried a tray with an orange in which some coins had been stuck, and it was on this tray that they collected banknotes and coins. They also carried "La Toya", which was a decorated sponge cake that was raffled at night during the dance.

The "Ronda de la Mula", traditionally organised by the "quintos" of the village, was revived in the 1980s by the Association of Mullés de Fonz, who since then, in addition to the "Ronda", have organised a popular meal for all the villagers and an afternoon snack to celebrate the festivity of Santa Águeda.

Origin of this festivity

The first written document in which this festivity is mentioned dates back to 1626, so we can affirm that this traditional festivity has been celebrated in Fonz for at least 395 years.

What to do and places to visit in Fonz?

Church

Built in Renaissance style between 1606 and 1617, it stands imposingly at the top of a stone staircase and is one of the finest examples of Aragonese religious architecture. It has a central nave and two side naves covered by star-shaped vaults, with a polygonal apse and a choir at the back. The chapel of the Holy Sacrament stands out, topped by a beautiful dome. Here there is a Gothic altarpiece dedicated to St. Anne, made at the end of the 15th century in the workshop of Pedro García de Benabarre.

Renaissance Interpretation Centre

It is located on the top floor of the Town Hall and has a didactic audiovisual, information panels, models and computer points that provide information on the historical and artistic context of the 16th century.

Inside the Interpretation Centre is the Temporary Exhibition Hall, which is renewed from time to time, with a variety of themes.

The Abaix Fountain

The construction of the fountain dates back to 1723, although the interior channelling is older. The exterior part consists of a fountain with two spouts, a trough and a covered washhouse, still in use today. At the entrance to the spring there is a stone vaulted channel, approximately 1.5 m. high and 70 m. long. On the floor of this gallery there is a stone channel through which the water flows. The upper floor houses a small collection of antique objects related to water and agricultural work.

This spring was declared a Point of Geological Interest in 2015 by the Government of Aragon.

Casa Ric - Palace of the Barons of Valdeolivos

This palace was built in Aragonese Renaissance style in 1613. It has a sober and elegant façade and an interior full of history. It was the residence of the Ric family.

On the main floor its rooms conserve the flavour and charm of the 17th to 19th centuries, such as the Music Room, the Portrait Room or the Room of the Purísima or the Room of the Shells.

All these rooms display authentic jewels, both in the furniture that decorates them and in their small details, paintings, murals, crockery, period costumes and oriental objects. There are 14 paintings by Fray Manuel Bayeu scattered throughout the rooms.

Tourist Office

The Tourist Office offers guided tours of the town, which include a visit to the interior of the Church, the Fountain of Abaix and the Renaissance Interpretation Centre and the exterior of all the Renaissance palaces and the Fountain of the Six Spouts. These visits take place during the same opening hours as the Tourist Office.

Timetable: Weekends and public holidays from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm and from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm.
Phone: 974 41 20 01
Mail: turismofonz@hotmail.com

Hiking routes in Fonz

Water Route

The route starts at the fountain in the square and goes to El Ojo de la Fuente, the spring that supplies water to the town. It is a signposted path and along the way you can visit the Pozo del Chelo and the Flores Mine.

It can be done at any time of the year, on foot or by bicycle. In total, round trip, there are about 9 km. and the degree of difficulty is low.

Excursion to the Hermitage of San José

The Hermitage is located 2 km from the village. It is a pleasant signposted path that runs through fields of olive and almond trees with a low degree of difficulty. Halfway along the path there is a detour that leads to the Santa Bárbara viewpoint where there is a pillar with the image of the Saint and excellent views over the Cinca valley.

Gastronomy in Fonz

Fonz does not deviate from the traditional customs of the area, with a diet based on local fruit and vegetables, including the famous Cofita melon.

A large part of the Fonz mountain was and is dedicated to the cultivation of olive trees, so that olive oil, which is milled in the village itself, is one of the delicacies we can enjoy. The extra virgin olive oil from Fonz "El Cadillo" is produced and sold in the Cooperativa del Campo.

Desserts deserve a separate chapter, as care has always been taken in their production. Of particular note are the pastillos de calabaza (pumpkin pastilles), the brazo de gitano, the rosquillas (doughnuts), the crespillos (a type of pastry made on 25th March) and the traditional San Blas cake.

The Valdecinca cheese factory in Fonz makes sheep's cheese and yoghurt, and the Sers de Cofita winery produces wine with the Somontano Designation of Origin.

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