L'Encamisada

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Festa de l'Encamisada

The Festival of the "Encamisada" is celebrated in Falset the weekend closest to Saint Anthony's Day, 17th January. It is linked to a popular legend which dates back to the 18th century when the men of the village took part in an "encamisada" against the invading French. An "encamisada" is a rapid attack at night to catch the enemy unawares and as camouflage, they were dressed only in their shirt-sleeves ("camisa" means shirt in Catalan). The attack took place on a misty night and so their white shirts were hardly visible and so victory was guaranteed.  

L'Encamisada of Falset is a traditional rural festival. In former times, all those who took part were farmers who paraded around the town with their horses and carts. Up until the Fifties, only men took part in this festival. Nowadays things have changed. However, there are very few working animals left, when once every house had at least a mule. The people who participate in this festival today, usually do so as groups of friends who hire mules and carts and some even come from outside the village from all over Catalonia. There are still some carts which have been bought from older farmers who no longer needed them.

"Panets de Sant Antoni", a type of sweet bread is blessed in front of the church after mass. In former times, people bought them not only to eat, but also to feed them to the animals in case they became ill or to cure their wounds.  

During mas there are demonstrations of the "Jota" of Falset (a traditional dance) which was brought back into use a few years ago.

More information at the Priorat Tourist Office in Falset: (+34) 977 831 023.