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Sant Joan Pelós

The Festes de Sant Joan are a big date in the festive calendar of Balearic events. None, of course, are as big as the equestrian events in neighbouring island, Menorca. If you wanted to spend a few days in Menorca during this week of the start of the Summer, you had to make your reservations by last Christmas, or so I am told.

Midsummernight’s bonfires, beach parties and correfocs were celebrated here in Mallorca, just the same. Plus the awesome Festa del Sol que balla (Dance of the Sun) in the pueblo of Sant Joan.

Felanitx begs to be different. Here, the Festa de Sant Joan is actually the Festa de Sant Joan Pelós. It is said that this festivity has pagan origins somewhere in the Medieval times. The person representing Saint John the Baptist (see photo) carries a cross with the inscription Ecce Agnus Dei Quitoli (Here is the lamb of the Lord) whilst performing his little dance. The inscription is probably an amendment from a later date and instilled by the Catholic church. From the photo you can also detect that the musical accompaniment of this folk dance is distinct from the usual ball de bot instrumentation. Here you have a violin, two guitars, a Bandúrrias (small mandoline type guitar), a Llaüt (lute) plus drums and Rascas (scraped reed stalks), whereas in traditional bal de bot music, you would have the xeremiers, i. e. bagpipes and flutes.

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: June 24th, 2010. The time was 19:09:46. The video was borrowed from the Internet, thanks to YouTube and guingaia.

Moltes gràcies.

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