Fairs, Festivals and Markets 6, by Toni Vives (Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain)
Normally each of the towns and villages on Mallorca has its own winter festivities which are held on the date of the festival of the patron saint of animals – San Antonio Abad. Bonfires are lit in the streets and townspeople gather to prepare an open-air barbecue for the whole neighbourhood. This style of celebration has become particularly renowned in Artà, Muro, Manacor and above all in sa Pobla. The occasion is also a special one for the people of Minorca where local people claim San Antonio as their patron saint.
In summer, when conditions are perfect for outdoor activities, each town and village in the Balearics is proud to hold its own particular festival, normally associated with a patron saint. Over the last few years, such festivities have become extended events due to new features and entertainment becoming part of the annual programme.
Some towns highlight aspects of their own jealously-guarded culture as part of their local festivities. These can sometimes prove to be a real tourist attraction, as is the case with a festival in Pollença in the north of Mallorca where every year on 2nd August - in honour of the town’s patron saint - a mock battle is staged, recreating an era centuries ago when Christians defeated invading Moors who attacked the coast on 30th May, 1550.
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