Mallorca is busy preparing itself for this year’s Sant Antoni celebrations on Sunday, January 17th. Sant Antoni is the guardian saint of the farming community and of animals.
Sunday night and, on some occasions, Saturday night will see hundreds of foguerons (bonfires) all over rural Mallorca. I would particularly recommend the fiestas in Artá, Manacor, Es Carritxó and Sa Pobla, but then I may be biased. There’s no doubt in my mind, however, that the Pí de Ternelles celebration is the most spectacular of any Sant Antoni festivities that I have witnessed in all of Mallorca.
For that annual contest, a very tall pine tree is selected each year from a finca in the Ternelles area outside of Pollença. Branches are sawn off and the bark is removed. The departure of the Pí de Ternelles is scheduled for Sunday at 14h00. The tree is then ceremoniously hauled back into town to be erected in a small plaça next to Pollença’s main church. In the evening, a number of, often intoxicated, but always young and male, contestants will be competing to climb up the tree trunk to claim the trophy. There will only be one winner. If you can’t make the occasion, proceedings will be televised live on TV.
Luckily, the Sant Antoni festivity falls on a Sunday this year, and not much work will be interrupted on this occasion, or so one hopes.
There will also be a Pí de Sant Antoni celebration with a similar contest in Port de Pollença. The pine tree for that event will be arriving from across the sea. Check local media for times and other details.
The photo was chosen from my archive. It was taken in Pollença, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: January 17th, 2009. The time was 15:56:20. The video was borrowed from the Internet. Thanks are due to YouTube and to TRUCHEN.