Pollença is a municipality in the north of Mallorca located between the sea-line and the mountain range Serra de Tramuntana. It is this setting that gives the town its character: its well-preserved nature, its old town-centre, its mannerisms, accent and of course, its traditional festivities. It is during those celebrations most deeply-rooted in Pollença, that one truly notices the special and unique nature of its people. In Summer, the town's patron saint brings is celebrated through a display of devotion while in mid Balearic winter it is the festivities of Sant Antoni and Sant Sebastià, on the 17th and 20th of January, respectively, are prime examples of tradition.
Sant Antoni bonfire, used on the 16th of January for cooking dinner and keeping warm. Imagen de EnunClickClack.
But the big day is January 17th. At 10 in the morning the day begins with the most religious and serene ceremony: les Beneïdes. Pets and cattle are taken to the church by the Plaza Mayor town square, the parish priest stands in the doorway and blesses all of the Pollençins walking past with their animals alongside. According to tradition, these will then be watched over by the patron saint of the animals. Then begin the celebrations, with hundreds of Pollençins and interested outsiders making their way up to Ternelles, a land and manor property on the outskirts of the town, on their way to the heart of the festivity: a pine-tree around 20 metres tall. After the meal and in a shroud of fire crackers and xeremies bagpipe-music, begins the pine-tree's slow journey back towards the town's old Plaza Vella square, where it will be lathered up and climbed by a youth from the village.
While it is true that the pine-tree must be climbed by a local and foreigners are not advised to try this feat, throughout the festivity the villagers gladly welcome tourists to curiously come nearer and watch the fiesta del pino or festa del pi and invite them to some mesclat, a strong typical liqueur special for celebrations.
The main characters are three youths from the town who have been previously chosen and who conscientiously prepare for the representation of one of the town's oldest traditions. The two “cavallets” dance to the sound of the piccolo flute while the “estendard” waves a large flag in a characteristic rhythm and manner.
For the duration of a week, Sant Antoni and Sant Sebastià interrupt Pollença's day-to-day life, filling the town with celebration and tradition.
Highlight Snapshot via CulturaPollensa.com