During the second half of January, people who come to ski at Grandvalira or Vallnord, as well as those who come to Andorra for the after-Christmas sales will positively enjoy one of the country’s deep-rooted traditions: the escudella stew festivals.
These festivities are held by the parishes of Canillo, Encamp, la Massana, Andorra la Vella and Escaldes-Engordany, for Sant Antoni, around 15 January; and a week later in Sant Julià de Lòria, for Sant Sebastià.
Held each year between 17 and 20 January, this traditional fiesta has been recovered virtually everywhere in the country and appears to have originated in the meals that were made for the poorest people of the community. Large pots are brought out to the street, to cook up a hearty soup made with pork, chicken, hen, veal, vegetables and pulses, among other ingredients.
The burners are lit in the early morning, and by midday the meal is dished up all who come to the outdoor kitchen in the square. And so, while enduring the winter cold, the people stand in the street and eat the stew, in keeping with tradition.
Just around the time of Candlemas, in early February, the parish of Escaldes-Engordany holds the Encants de Sant Antoni, a tradition dating back to the early 20th century and consisting of an auction held in the Sant Pere Màrtir Church square. Here, the local people fill the square with lots of artisan meats, including llonganissa and bull sausages, flatbreads and flat pastries including the sweeter coca masegada and orelletes (round fried pastries), the savoury coca de llardons made with cracklings, and others. The proceeds from the auction are then allocated to charity projects.
With these activities, which enable you to experience and enjoy the local traditions, your visit to Andorra will definitely take on a different air. Whether you’re staying at a hotel at the foot of the slopes or in the city centres, we invite you to come over and discover Andorra’s roots and try some escudella. We’re sure you’ll enjoy it in the company of your significant other, a bunch or friends or your family. And after lunch, you may wish to stop into the illa Carlemany shopping centre and delight in its wide range of shops and leisure and entertainment, as here you’ll find Andorra’s only movie theatres, the Cinemes illa Carlemany