On the 17th of January one of the most traditional and important celebrations of Mallorca took place. We’re talking about Sant Antoni, a celebration with a massive following in Pollensa and all over the north of the island. Buying a villa in Pollensa could be a key factor for living the festivities to the full. In this blog article, Pollentia Properties, real estate agency in Pollensa, will be explaining what the 17th of January is really all about; what the celebration of “u pi” entails and what “foguerons” (bonfires)are. Discover the magic of having a villa in Pollensa during one of the most important celebrations in Mallorca.
Sant Antoni is one of the most important events in Mallorca. This popular celebration revolves round Anthony Abad, a historical personage about whom countless stories have been told. Legend has it that Anthony was an Egyptian monk who went to the mountains to live a life of religious contemplation. Anthony Abad had a gift for curing animals. During one of his departures from his cave was his place of refuge, he saw a mother boar caring for her litter of blind offspring. Anthony used his gift to cure the litter of boars of their blindness, and so the mother boar decided to live with him for the rest of her life.This is why in Mallorca, Sant Antoni is the patron saint of animals, and every 17th of January pets and livestock are blessed during an act called “beneïdes”.
The story of this beloved character on the island doesn’t end here. The other important character of this legend is, without a doubt, the devil. Anthony Abad’s acts of kindness captured the attention of the devil, who tried to tempt him various times through visions. Anthony resisted the temptations. The Devil, after seeing this, sent a hoard of demons to give him a thrashing with the intention of killing him. The Devil, upon seeing that Anthony was still alive in spite of his defeat, sent another hoard of demons disguised as weasels to open his wounds and finally finish him off. As the monk drew his final breath, a ray of light sent by God scared away the weasels and saved Anthony from the devils´ clutches. He died on the 17th of January of 356 at the age of 105. Which is why every 17th of January Mallorcans celebrate Sant Antoni with the blessing of animals and representing the temptations which Anthony faced. A character dressed as him is followed by dozens of people dressed as demons dancing around him.
Pollensa becomes a focal point in Mallorca at this particular time. One of the most traditional celebrations of Sant Antoni is the ascent of a large pine tree covered in soap. Every year on the 17th of January, the people of Pollensa trek to the area of Ternelles to witness a large pine tree being carried all the way down to the Plaça de la Almoina where this particular celebration starts. Following this, the pine tree is erected with ropes and pulleys and stands in the centre of the square, and is covered in soap and pork fat. The youngest, strongest and bravest of the town defy the laws of gravity by trying to climb its majestic trunk. At the top, the victorious climber retrieves a bag of confetti which is opened upon arrival plus a cash prize and recognition from the whole town.
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