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Bonfires of the Vanities

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I accept with humble defiance that my title today is a bit misleading. Vanities not so much; bonfires, yes, and many.

Today is the day of San Antonio, when bonfires will be lit and demonios will be burned at the stakes, all over the island.

As there are so many villages on this island, and as everybody wants to join in on the festivities, the fogerons actually get spread out, just a bit. Manacor, for instance, had their Sant Antoní celebrations and fires yesterday, already (see my smaller photo).

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Tonight, it is time for the fires in Es Carritxó, Santanyí, Palma and a number of other places. Other villages light their fires over the next few days. Felanitx’s turn will be on Saturday, january 19th, whilst Casa Blanca, just outside of Palma, will have their Sant Antoní fires on Sunday, January 20th. You better check the local particulars with your usual gossip contacts, perhaps in your local bar or at the petrol station.

San Antonio is also the saint’s day when farmers have their animals blessed (beneïdes). Horses, sheep and goats are paraded outside the village church. The local vicar will sprinkle some holy water over the flocks. But you will see some individuals, youngsters perhaps, parade their budgerees, cats, dogs, even rats, turtles and hamsters before the authorities, to receive their pronunciations.

Both photos were taken in Manacor, Mallorca, Spain. The date: January 16th, 2008. The time was 13:45:44, and 20:51:28, respectively.

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