The Festa de Sant Antoni goes back a very long time indeed, here on the island of Mallorca. In Pollença, for instance, documents show that the Festa de Sant Antoni was already alive and kicking as early as 1384, if the book La festa a l’època medieval (1350-1450) by Antoni Mayol i Llompart can be trusted. But Pollença is not alone nor is it at the forefront of the San Antonio Abad festivities. There are lively celebrations now, leading up to January 17th, the saint’s day, just about everywhere in Mallorca. Manacor, Artà and Son Servera are rather big with the saint and, particularly so is Sa Pobla. There will be Sant Antoni celebrations wherever you live, here on the island, just check locally for details.
The festa celebrates the clash between the saint and the devils or demons. The saint suffers plenty of tribulation at the dimonis‘ hands. Sant Antoni survives the barrage of evil blows, tricks and temptations and, thus, at night the devil gets burned at the stakes. Large bonfires will be lit everywhere tonight, to be followed by torrades (barbeques), some vi negre and plenty of ximbomba music, dancing and merriment.
Check it out. This is Mallorca at its best.