San Sebastian 2017
And they're off! Today's the day the big shindig to celebrate Palma's patron saint's day starts and as usual it's the biggest fiesta in all Mallorca, all year. San Sebastian had never actually been to Mallorca until years after his death when a bone from his arm – in the first division of religious relics and having miraculous powers – was brought to Palma and stopped a plague epidemic in its tracks.
Hundreds of years ago this act was considered good enough to make San Sebastian the patron saint of the city and hold a big celebration each 20th January. Over the years the fiesta has grown and grown and now lasts for days and days, and this year includes no less than 80 activities for one and all.
As if this wasn't enough, the feast of San Antonio on 17th January, now falls within the celebratory period, and due to the large amount of Chinese immigrants now living in Mallorca, so does (albeit tenuously) the start of the year of the cock on 28th January.
So, the big fiesta opening is tonight Friday 13th January when a big parade starts from the town hall square with traditional Mallorcan 'performers' like a fire breathing dragon, (photo you tube) big heads, giants, pipers, dancers, drummers and new for this year a Chinese dragon and lion! Ending up in the Plaza Mayor, there'll be entertainment for kids and a live group, Cap Pela.
I've selected some of the best bits of the Fiesta which take place from Saturday;
Saturday 14, 20:00 Plaza de las Tortugas – Pop 40 concert
Sunday 15, 20:00 Plaza Mayor – Musical talent competition final
Tuesday 17, 10:00 Cathedral – blessing of the animals for San Antonio
Friday 20, 12:00 Santa Eulalia – Cycling day fun ride to Son Moix
Saturday 21, 22:00 Paseo Mallorca – Correfoc with 250 fire belching demons
Sunday 22, 09:30, Plaza Mayor – Palma Fotogràfica XXXI
Sunday 22, 09:30, Pere Garau – parade of the dragons
However, the biggest party takes place on the 19th, the eve of the saint's day when Palma's big plazas host around 40 bands and artists playing live, each square featuring a different type of music. With lots of bars and pop up bars open, barbecues sizzling and smoking and the streets crowded with people, the party goes on into the wee small hours!
Here's who's on where;
(folk, ball de bot and música en catalán)
20.10h: Dragon, big heads and giants
21.45h: Música Nostra
23h: Oques Grasses
Plaza de Joan Carles I
(rock, indie and heavy)
21h: Salvatge Cor
23.15h: Efecto Pasillo
Plaza de Espanya
(pop and electrónica)
0h: Smoking Stones (photo)
1.30h: DJ Juan Campos + Txema Sánchez
Plaza de la Reina
(flamenco, rumba and sevillanas)
21h: Tom Trovador
22.15h: Rumba Katxai
23.30h: José el Francés
Plaza de Santa Eulàlia
21.30h: DJ Óscar Romero
23h: Pere Janer
0.30h: DJ Paula Serra
Calle Jacint Verdaguer, junto al Pont des Tren
(blues, pop and pop-rock)
21h: Hattori Hanzo Surf Experience
22.15h: La Barraca Sound System
23.30h: Siniestro Total
1.15h: 2 pájaros a tiro (tributo a Serrat y Sabina)
Plaza Porta de Santa Catalina (jazz, swing, soul and reggae)
21.30h: Monkey Doo
22.45h: Soul Café
0h: Jazz Fingers
1.15h: Maria Rosselló i els botifanfarrons
Plaza del Olivar
23.15h: Marga Rotger
0.30h: Kepa Junkera & Sorginak
Phew! There's actually a whole lot more happening the whole time, and you can see all the details by clicking on the link to the official programme which is all in Catalan but the dates, times and photos are easy enough to understand.
Have a great time if you're out and about.