On the eve of Midsummer Day, many towns in the Illes Balears celebrate its magical night. Fire is the main attraction, to dance around the bonfires to the beat of the music or to join the ritual of purification.
Several cities and towns in the Illes Balears celebrate the Nit de Sant Joan, including Palma, Calvià, Deià, Muro, Felanitx, Son Servera and Sant Joan, on Mallorca; Formentera, the city of Eivissa, Santa Eulàlia des Riu and Sant Joan de Labritja.
Among the many activities it stands out on 24th performance of the Adult Choir of Sant Juny and the Children Choir in the parish church at 20.00, although the most important events open the magic night of the 23rd, moment when the children go up in procession to the Consolation Hump. The bonfires celebration will be entertained by a telling stories session.
On Saint John’s Feast Day, at 6.00 in the morning, there will sound reveille in the Consolation’s area of level ground. This is actually the reason why the fiestas are called ‘Festas del Sol que balla’: on waking up the children so early, the sun (which has just emerged), dances before their eyes, which are still asleep. At 6.30, everybody present is invited to a chocolate breakfast with ensaimada (spiral-shaped pastry typical of Majorca). Moreover, it also stands out the traditional games and the sack races. In the Constitution Square the games go on, with bicycle races and other activities.
In the afternoon, at around 19.00, a group of ‘Dimonis i xeremíers’ will go out of the Town Hall: that is a group of people dressed in devils costumes who follow the children through the old quarter of the village and throw rockets on the streets. At 21.00 will also visit the village Sant Joan Pelos y el Corb de Sant Nofre, a big raven (around two and a half meters high). Thunder and flares come out of his wings.
Bonfires are organised at the squares on the night of 23rd June, and music and dancing are also to be found, filling everyone at the gathering with glee. The magical hour is midnight, when it is time to take part in the ritual of purification by means of fire. According to tradition, something old or a piece of paper upon which we have written down everything we would like to change must be thrown into the bonfire. While it is burning in the flames, we jump three times in a row.
On 24th June St John the Baptist’s Day is celebrated; he who was born in Judaea, was the nephew of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and who died beheaded in the year 27 at the request of Salome, the daughter of Herodias. The fact that it coincides with the summer solstice, with the longest day and the shortest night, has contributed to the magic acquired by this festival since time forgotten.
More information: www.illesbalears.es
Category: Spain festivals