If two primitive symbols exist in Mallorcan culture, these two symbols are fire and the devil. Their significance has been nourished by the Christian and agricultural roots of the island society of yesterday and of today; both elements come together during the most important holidays. Saint Anthony and Saint Sebastian are two of the most representative festivals of this union.
Every 16 and 17 January, Saint Anthony marks one of the most anticipated moments: the apparition of the demons, which marks the start of the Revetlla de Sant Antoni on the 16th. Accompanied by traditional music, they dance around the foguerons (bonfires) in every corner of towns such as Sa Pobla, Manacor and Artà. During this celebration it is possible to sample typical produce such as sobrassada or botifarrons to the tune of the ximbombes (friction drum) and glosses (lyrics). A few days later, during the Revetlla de Sant Sebastià on 19 January, foguerons are lit again, particularly in Palma in this case, accompanied by live music shows.
However, the figure of the devil does not only star in the most deeply-rooted celebrations of the Mallorcan winter. The Festival of La Beata in Santa Margalida or the Ball dels Cossiers in Montuïri also count on the presence of this popular character. In the case of La Beata, every first Sunday of September, they are responsible for trying to snatch clay jars from farmers during the “most typical Mallorcan procession” with the aim of smashing them at the feet of the young woman who plays the part of La Beata.
It would be remiss to not also mention the Correfocs, spectacles which combine the magic of fireworks, demons, the beating of drums and, of course, fire. Many towns around the island enliven their festivals with performances by numerous colles de dimonis (demon troupes). Palma during Saint Sebastian and Saint John, Sa Pobla for Saint Anthony, and Binissalem during Saint James and the Festival of Sa Vermada are some of the dates during which you can enjoy the colour and the most characteristic sounds of Mallorcan culture.