In Valencia city St Christopher day were celebrated in many places. This Saint was acclaimed as protective against hunger, thunders, hail and pests what caused that, in the early XIX century, existed around twenty small altars made of Manises ornamental tile or painted over the facades of private buildings.
“Les Festes de carrer” followed the same pattern in our town. Neighbours of the street where the altar was located, were chosen as clavarios. From that moment, gunpowder, music and processions, invaded the street for several days. This was decorated with silk fabrics, small street lamps, bands/tapes… and it didn´t lack the dais/stand/platform with the music
The Poeta Bodría studied all these popular feasts and thanks to him, we know of some of those which was celebrated in past times.
We have centered in those which in honour to St. Christopher took place in nine streets, located in the neighborhoods of Velluters and of the Carmen.
- Garcilaso street. Ancient Saint Christopher of Blanqueries, which originated some celebrations in honour to the Saint
- Corona st. People were honouring to the small Saint Christopher, unlike to the big Saint Christopher that he had its chapel in this street.
- Maldonado st., ancient Carrer Ample, the feast was celebrated to the Saint from the number 25 to the end of the street, with happiness, music and "besqüitada" (allotment small cakes).
-Mola St. It doesn´t exist today. It was located between En Gil St and Barón de Carcer Av. Men celebrated to St Christopher and women to Verge María del Rosari.
-Pintor Domingo St. Its celebration was on 25th July. in the same street existed a brotherhood that auctioned objects to collect funds.
- Pou St. it were put an altar on angle with the Sogueros street
- Ripalda St. (Ancient Pobla Vella). Here St. Christopher and the Virgen del Rosario (the virgin of the beads) were celebrated as well.
-San Luis Beltrán st. Nowadays disappeared, It was located between Quevedo and Gracia st. There was an altar where the saint was honoured.
- Villena St. Ancient named “de la Figuera”. In this street, still it stays the painting that originated the feasts to the Saint.
SAINT CHRISTOPHER AND THE CORPUS CHRISTI OF VALENCIA
But also St. Christopher had a special contribution in the feast that every year is celebrated in our city on the occasion of the Corpus Christi.
Among the three Mysteries or sacramental mistery plays that are preserved, and that were played in the Middle Ages, one is consecrate to St. Christopher. It is known that it existed already in 1449 because the Jurors of the city order that is made a "coa de damasc blanc" for the Infant Jesus that was carrying the Saint
The personages that appear are: St. Christopher, the Infant Jesus, a hermit and at least a pilgrims couple. The mystery is performanced on foot and with the public forming a ring.
The used language is the valencian and it has a musical part.
The story itold as the hermit puts to St. Christopher as a penance to obtain the virtue, of helping the travelers to cross from one side of the river to the other, something that the saint accomplishes.
However a day is presented a child that requests to him/her/you to cross, surprised by the weight of the child says:
" Jamai porti xiquet que tan pesas
Com lo tingui en mon coll par que tot lo mon portás"
El niño contesta:"Tu dius Cristofol "
He was realized that he was carrying to the Infant Jesus. In last part of the mystery a religious song was made, sometimes in Castilian and others in Latin. The performance finished last century with the appearance of the hermit who got with his “carchot” that the public left the performance.
OTHER HOLIDAYS IN HONOR TO ST. CHRISTOPHER IN VALENCIA