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The festivities of Sant Antoni

Update 24/09/19. The festivities of Sant Antoni, one of the most important festivals in Mallorca; bonfires, concerts, pyrotechnic shows ...

The festivities of Sant Antoni are some of the most important festivals in Mallorca. These festivities are celebrated in most of the localities of Mallorca.

The streets are filled with fire, smoke, music and fun. All the towns in Mallorca are celebrating. The "caperrots" (characters with very large heads), the giants and the demons go out into the street. Young children observe the acts of the festivities with surprise. Young people live these days with great joy. Adults enjoy all the acts, they know the popular songs perfectly. They gather around the bonfires playing the "ximbomba" (old instrument made of lambskin and cane) and sing popular songs.

All the localities of Mallorca celebrate these festivities but the most popular celebrations are in Sa Pobla, Manacor and Artá. The festivities of Sant Antoni have been celebrated for hundreds of years. There are documents from the year 1365 that speak of the festivities of Sa Pobla. In the Catholic religion, San Antonio has been the saint of animals. During the Middle Ages the Mallorcan economy was based on agriculture and livestock. There was a ritual to bless animals that has lasted to this day.

On the night of January 16 the bonfires are lit in the main streets of the villages. All the people gather around the fires to roast some meat, drink wine and sing popular songs.

On the morning of January 17 a mass is celebrated to bless the animals. Later the people walks with the animals through the main streets. Horses, lambs, dogs, canaries, cats, etc. everyone is present at the party.

In addition to religious and cultural events there is also a strong gastronomic component. Formerly the majority of homes before Sant Antoni celebrated the "matances" (killing the pig that had fed and fattened during the autumn). The products made with pork meat, "sobrasada", "butifarrón", and its meat were roasted in the bonfires of Sant Antoni. Also the "spinagada" (vegetable pie) is another typical dish of this festivity.

During the night the musicians go from bonfire to bonfire singing typical songs. They are songs with very clever rhymes and people have a great time. The people drink wine and as the night progresses the songs are increasingly fun.

Over the years, new elements have been added to the Sant Antoni festival. Groups of people disguised as demons perform dances and chase visitors. They walk through the streets the "corre focs" (machines that give off fireworks). The "piromusical" , a fireworks and music show. Sa Pobla is the town that performs the greatest "pyromusical" show. Thousands of people gather in the main square and enjoy the show.


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