Monday, December 16, 2013

Balearic Islands: A guide to fiestas and folk traditions of Mallorca (January-February)


8/9 Fiesta on St Julia's Eve. The dance in honour of St Julia is held and the first bonfires (foguerons) of the winter fiestas are lit in Campos.

Per sant Antoni, tota Mallorca fa festa.
St Antoni Abat's Eve
16 Fiesta on St Honorat's Eve. St Honorat is the patron saint of Algaida. The most characteristic part of the fiesta is the performance of the cossiers, six men and one woman, accompanied by a demon, who dance and whose origins are related to invocations to ancient divinities.

16 Fiesta on St Antoni Abat's Eve. Sant Antoni lived at some time around the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The eve of his saint's day is one of the magical nights in Mallorca's calendar, and is linked to ancient fertility rites. Not in vain is St Antoni the guardian of crops and livestock. The night of St Antoni is a night of bonfires (foguerons). There are two places that really should be visited: Artà and Sa Pobla.

17 St Antoni Abat's Day. The fiesta of the traditional blessing of animals is held in Palma and in practically all the towns and villages of Mallorca. In Pollença, after the traditional "colcada" and the appropriate blessings, everyone goes from l'Almoina to "get the pine" from the Ternelles estate, where, after hearty refreshments of bread and olive oil, salt herring and wine, a pine tree with a long straight is felled and taken to the Plaça Vella in Pollença. In Sa Pobla, the blessing tends to take place in the evening with a great parade of decorated floats and then folk dancing. In Calvià, next to the church the alimara is lit to celebrate the fiesta and there is a huge bonfire on which to burn the devil, according to the tradition. In Palma, the most traditional blessing is that of Sant Antoniet, with music by the xeremies (pipe, drums and bagpipes), a parade, a Mass and the awarding of prizes.

Ball de bot or traditional folk dancing
19/20 Fiesta on St Sebastia's Eve. Although on the eve of St Sebastia's Day dances and fiestas are held in many villages in Mallorca, such as Ariany, Búger, Calvià, Capdellà, Costitx, Deià, Muro and Sa Pobla, with the indispensable bonfires, the main fiesta is in Palma. Ever since St Sebastià delivered the city from plague, he has been its patron saint. The great fiesta takes place on the 19th from early on in the evening, with live music in the city center. On the following day, the fiesta reaches its height with a Mass held in the Cathedral in the morning.

20 Parade of "Los Cavallets" in Pollença. As part of the fiestas of St Sebastià, Pollença relives a secular tradition on the feast day itself. The Saint is taken on a parade with the town standard and the "cavallets", two youths from the village who dance in a horse costume.


Fiesta of The Siurell. Llubí celebrates the Fiesta of the Siurell on the Saturday before carnival.

27 Sister Francinaina Cirer's Birthday. A floral offering is made to the figure of the Blessed Sister Francinaina Cirer in Sencelles.

Sencelles sale a la calle para celebrar la tradicional fiesta de Sor Francinaina Cirer
Floral offering on Sister Francinaina Day
Carnival: Els darrers dies. The countdown to Carnival starts on Lardy Thursday. This period is known in Mallorca as "els darrers dies" (the last days) which refers to the fact that they are the last possible days to have fun before Lent begins. Typical foods include the ensaimada de tallades.

Check March, April and May Fiestas in Mallorca
Check June, July and August Fiestas in Mallorca
Check September, October, November and December Fiestas in Mallorca

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