Mallorca, island of fire

Be prepared to celebrate the winter between bonfires, 'dimonis' and batucadas.

The winter in Mallorca is the opposite of what we expect. Because in this season, the island, apart from being the land that George Sand wanted to immortalize as "the green Helvecia", offers a unique opportunity to discover the authentic essence of its history and its people in the heat of the fire. All of the magic takes place between 15 and 20 January, when the island's most ingrained traditions and rarities come out in the form of bonfires, 'dimonis' and dinners in the moonlight.

The foguerons in Manacor
The main city of Eastern Mallorca lights the flame of winter in the Mediterranean with the celebrations of the Sant Antoni festivity.
The second half of January is the moment when the winter fireworks explode. A perfect time to combine a few days of fun, good gastronomy and popular culture in Manacor, where you will not miss the foguerons (bonfires) or the beneïts (blessings).
 
The Sant Antoni feast is celebrated in Manacor and in the villages of this area on the eve of 16th January, lighting dozens of bonfires. The neighbours go out to dance and toast and one of the most acclaimed acts is the colcada (horseback riding) and the beneïts (blessings) of the cattle.
 
Every year, people gather on the Town Hall square for the "general bell ringing" and the grand ball in honour of the saint, a golden opportunity to enjoy an authentic sample of the traditional ball de bot dance.
 
Later that day, a bonfire contest (foguerons) is celebrated and, and, in the afternoon, the moment of the cavalcade and the ignition of the first bonfire (fogueró) comes. The blessings are usually made the next day (17th January), next to the church.


The ‘dimonis’ (devils) conquer Artà
The most popular event of the great Sant Antoni celebrations held in town is the Ball del Dimoni (Devil´s  Dance).
Every January, coinciding with the Sant Antoni festivities, Artà becomes a great outdoor theatre. All the neighbours meet on the streets and squares dressed in white shirts and red handkerchiefs and dance to the sound of drums, sticks and cowbells carried by the traditional dimonis (devils).
 
The feast of Sant Antoni is celebrated in Artà on16th January. The neighbours honour their patron with liturgical acts and traditional parades that are known as correfocs, with the dimonis (devils) running from corner to corner with lit torches and farm implements converted into banners.
 
The dimonis (devils) of Artà wear a very peculiar dress, with black overalls with a white human skeleton painted on them, and a large mask covering their heads, as well as large horns imitating the billy- goat.
 
All these devils cross the main streets of Artà frightening everybody they find on their path to finally reach the town square where they perform the Ball del Dimoni, surrounded and emboldened by the rest of the people.


The Ballada de Gegants in Muro
The Plaza del Convent is the focal point of the Sant Antoni festivity, every 16th January.
Muro, a small and cosy village, retains one of the most traditional festivities: dimonis roaming the streets, xeremiers and concerts by the municipal band, caparrots and, of course, their typical gegants (giants)
 
The Sant Antoni celebration of Muro is one of the least crowded and most classical. There, the famous Ballada des Gegants awaits you in front of the town hall building, an act that continues with the central revetla, with the ignition of foguerons, the dimonis correfocs and the barbecues in the middle of the street.
 
The dinners on the street are the main attraction for those visiting Mallorca for the first time and know nothing about this surprising custom: families from the same street meet to dine together on the street in the heat of the bonfires.
 
Many also open their tables to the visitor and this is the best chance to try the most authentic dishes of the Sant Antoni festivities, from the delicious espinagada to the typical pa amb oli de lomo, sobrasada and grilled butifarrones sausages.


The essential Sant Antoni of Sa Pobla
The fireworks that are organized every year in the main square are the most famous in Mallorca.
If we talk about an itinerary through the Mallorca of the fire, we can do without almost anything, but we cannot miss a specific stop: Sant Antoni de Sa Pobla, combining traditional music, the dances of the dimonis, fire and music shows and popular torradas on the streets.
 
Sa Pobla is where we can get rid of the winter with just one gesture, celebrating one of the most famous fire festivals of Mallorca, attended by hundreds and hundreds of Majorcans and visitors to enjoy the bonfires, the torradas – toasted bread -, the parades and popular marches.
 
The dimonis (devils) fill the streets at dusk for days, surprising everyone they find in them with their drums, banners, horned faces and sticks wrapped in fire. The main correfoc is performed every year with great expectation from the Town Hall to the church
 
But after the traditional blessings of livestock and pets, the various liturgical acts and the correfocs, the great feast of Sant Antoni in Sa Pobla are the fireworks that take place at night in the sky of the main square.


The night of Sant Sebastià
Palma is transformed to celebrate its night of music and fire, the most important festival of the year for its inhabitants.
Palma celebrates its great day every year on 20th January, in the middle of winter and out in the crowd. But the party starts earlier, usually a week in advance, with activities for children and adults throughout the city.
 
The local festival in Palma, when the city is transformed amidst the smoke of the barbecues and music, is celebrated the night of 19th January. That magic night, the City Hall places grills in each square and the main streets. Neighbours and visitors crowd together with their baskets full of meat, sausages and vegetables to make them on the embers.
 
The atmosphere throughout the city is one of pure fun and, in each square, you can see the lights and shadows of the fire of the barbecues and dance to the sound of concerts of local and national music groups.
 
At sunset, you will find people of all ages, from small children to grandparents, in every corner, who flock to their chosen street or square to toast their dinner, dance, laugh and share a different night.

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