Fiestas for Sant Sebastià 2014 in Palma de Mallorca
In January the city of Palma celebrates the feast of its patron saint
We people of Palma de Mallorca must be gluttons for punishment since, with the Christmas celebrations barely over, instead of putting our feet up we plunge straight back into the party spirit. If you ask the locals when Christmas ends in Palma, most of them will tell you it doesn't finish until Sant Sebastià is over.
The Fiestas for Sant Sebastià, the city's patron saint, are eagerly looked forward to by the Palmesanos (as the locals are called), and just about everyone gets involved. During the days when the Fiestas are on, thousands of Palmesanos take to the streets to celebrate the feast of Sant Sebastià and participate in activities for all the family organized by Palma City Council and other civic bodies.
And while the festivities include a full programme of events lasting over a week, there are certain red-letter days which are especially looked forward to, both by the locals and by tourists on a return visit to the city (once you've experienced the Fiestas for Sant Sebastià at first hand, it's hard to resist the temptation to return).
In Palma, 17th January is the day of the traditional "Correfoc (Fire Run) of Sant Sebastià". It's a firework display featuring "colles de dimonis" — groups of people in brightly-coloured demon costumes who have travelled from various parts of Mallorca. The "colles de dimonis" race through the streets of the city centre filling them with music, colour, heat and fun.
The second most important activity amongst those held in Palma during the Fiestas for Sant Sebastià takes place on 19th January, the eve of Sant Sebastià's feast day. It's called the "revetlla" of Sant Sebastià ("revetlla" is the name given in Mallorca to the highlight of a programme of fiestas). Palma City Council puts on concerts — some of which continue into the night — in many of the squares in the city centre. Before the time comes for the concerts to begin, people can cook sausages and pieces of meat on small bonfires called "foguerons" laid for the purpose in these squares. Thousands of locals flock to the city's most popular squares to dine in the best company while waiting for one of the best evenings of the year to begin.
The Fiestas for Sant Sebastià 2014 will be on in Palma de Mallorca from 11th to 20th January. You can view the full programme for the Fiestas, with the time and place of each activity, on Palma City Council's website.