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Two of the most traditional festivities in Mallorca are held in January

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In January, when the Christmas holidays are over, Mallorca is still decked out to celebrate two of its most popular festivals: Sant Antoni, on the 17th, and Sant Sebastià, on the 20th.

The festivities of Sant Antoni, the patron saint of animals, are celebrated in various towns on the island such as Manacor, Artà or Sa Pobla. In this last one is where they live with more enthusiasm, in fact in 1966 they were declared of tourist interest. The main acts are the parades, the 'correfocs' and the traditional blessing or 'beneïdes' of animals. Also in some neighborhoods of Palma is celebrated this day with barbecues and 'dimonis' (demons).

With respect to Sant Sebastià, patron saint of Palma, a whole series of activities for neighbors and visitors is scheduled, including concerts, theatrical performances, exhibitions, parades, religious acts and fireworks.

The origin of the celebration of Sant Sebastià

Tradition has it that in 1523, during the plague epidemic in Majorca, a priest named Manuel Suriavisqui arrived in Palma carrying a relic of Sant Sebastià. When he wanted to leave the island, a strong storm that prevented the ship from setting sail was unleashed. This event was interpreted as a manifestation of the divine will and also coincided with the end of the plague that devastated the island, so it was decided to leave the relic in the Cathedral of Palma and a guild was founded in honor of the saint. The devotion was consolidated over the years and in 1634 he was appointed patron of the city, a title confirmed in 1868. The festivities in his honor are held since then, but the most popular act, the verbena or 'revetla', is more recent.

On Saturday, January 11, a week before the day of Sant Sebastià, the proclamation of the festivities is held at the Town Hall, in the Plaza de Cort. Throughout the week various events and activities take place in the vicinity of the Hotel Born . If you wish we can give you more information about the party program.

The most popular event takes place on the eve of the day of Sant Sebastià, is the so-called "revetla" , in which people gather around bonfires and barbecues to roast the typical product of Mallorca, sobrasada, and other sausages. They are the traditional 'foguerons' .

This day also concerts are held in various squares in the center of the city. A musical variety divided into eight different stages and in which traditional dance, swing, world music, jazz, electronic music, hip hop, pop and rock stand out. There will be a total of 30 concerts featuring renowned guest artists and local groups. The most important ones usually take place in the stages located in the Plaza de España and Joan Carles I square. As a novelty this year, six of the eight seats that will house the concerts will have measures for people with special needs, such as subtitles, magnetic loops or vibrating platforms.

The great day of the pattern and the 'correfocs'

The 20th is the feast of Sant Sebastià. In the morning a solemn Mass is celebrated in his honor at the Cathedral of Palma , at midday the Cyclist's Day takes place and at night, the delivery ceremony of the Ciutat de Palma Awards, a set of literary prizes summoned by the City Council.

As a final point to the festivities, the 'dimonis' parade takes place through the center of the city , the so-called 'correfoc'. It is a pyrotechnic party in which parades parade various masquerades of demons and to which the public joins to dance under fire and gunpowder. The groups of 'dimonis' leave in a staggered way from the bridge of the Riera and arrive until the Juan Carlos I square, where the ignition of the 'beasts of fire' takes place.

This year, the correfoc will take place on the night of the 22nd

Photography by @FilmPalma


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