The Pi de Sant Antoni

Pi de Sant Antoni1The new year begins with a number of traditional festivities, here on the island of Mallorca. Sant Antoni celebrations are coming up any moment now, possibly constituting the single most important traditional festivity on the island. More about Sant Antoni in a day or two but first, let me alert you to a particular and rather spectacular celebration that goes on in Pollença at this time of year, the Pi de Ternelles (or Pi de Sant Antoni) madness.

Yesterday, a huge 21 m pine tree was chosen and felled on the estate of Son Ternelles, property of the heirs of the March family, near Pollença. Next Thursday, January 17th, the large tree trunk will be hauled back into town in the early afternoon in a cheerful orchestration, involving the pueblo’s younger generation, lots of Mezclat (a sweet and powerful alcoholic concoction), plenty of xeremiers piping music plus the occasional fire rocket. The pine tree will be erected next to Pollença’s parochial church in Plaça Vella where it will be soaped before, on the evening at around 20h00, the male village youth will be competing to climb up the tree trunk to claim the trophy. The colourful proceedings should be televised live on TV, as always.

There will be a separate Pi de Sant Antoni jamboree in Port de Pollença. A tall pine tree has been selected yesterday on the Peninsula de Formentor and will be brought back to Port de Pollença by boat. Festivities including the tree climbing extravaganza are scheduled in Port de Pollença for Monday at around 13h30 at Placa Miquel Capllonch. The feel of the celebrations in Pollença’s port is quite distinct. The event is less crowded there, alcohol seems to be consumed in lesser quantities and the daytime conditions make the gathering somewhat less claustrophobic. If you have been to neither of the Pi de Sant Antoni events, I would suggest you should sample the one in Pollença but, if you already have experienced that one why not go to Port de Pollença this year for a bit of the real Mallorca?

The video shows a documentary shot in 1972 by Gabriel Perelló Siquier. Moltes gràcies. Thanks also to Vimeo.

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