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  • Writer's pictureMark Carney

Dancing with the devil

We’ve barely waved goodbye to the Three Kings and it’s straight on with another festival. The one thing we have discovered since moving here is that the people of Mallorca and in particular Pollenciens, really commit to their fiestas and after Patrona I think Sant Antoni is probably the next big thing on the list of Saints to celebrate.

It always takes place on the 16th and 17th January but there’s lots going on in the run up. The festival can trace its origins to the island’s agricultural roots when people entrusted their animals to Sant Antoni, Patron Saint of the many animals needed for the farms. These days you can bring your dog, cat, chinchilla or parrot for a blessing on the Sunday!

The first thing you will notice is the arrival in shop windows of some quite alarming looking masks of demons. Then as the week progresses large mounds of soil start appearing on the road side. For the passer by I can only imagine what this must look like…random to say the least even for us new arrivers in Pollenca!

On Saturday we had a delightful evening with our friends David and Alison…a birthday dinner at Respira for David with a few other people who we were meeting for the first time. The food was excellent and the conversation was scintillating. What great storytelling from a really lovely bunch of people. During dinner my wifey (AKA Samantha) was lured outside by Charles to bear witness to what can only be described as dancing with the devil!

That probably needs a bit of explaining, although Sam has dance in her DNA, to the best of my knowledge, demon worshipping is not one of her pastimes…having said that you never stop learning about your partner in life 😀 So on Saturday night we had an amazing spectacle of the battle between Sant Antoni with the devil…none of us were quite ready for the events that took place and the locals telling us that there is dancing with a few fireworks couldn’t have been more of an understatement!

I’lll let the video that Sam filmed tell the story…but encouraged by Charles, she was in the thick of it…as she came back into the restaurant there was a faint smell of burning…not the smell of martyr but her jumper scorched by the flames!!!

Tonight we continue with the fires, foguerons, that will burn around the town (now the piles of soil makes sense!) and tomorrow the climbing of the 21 metre slippery pine tree in the Placa Vella. It is carried from Ternelles forest to the square and they make a tight turn in front of our house...apparently it could be an interesting manoeuvre…there’s bound to be another story to tell tomorrow!


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