San Sebastiá in Palma de Mallorca 2019


After celebrating the “Revetla” on Saturday evening, Palma is preparing today for the “Correfoc” as part of its general celebartion of its patron saint, San Sebastián. 
The “Correfoc” are a Spanish tradition originating in Mallorca’s mix of pagan, Christian and mystic history. Dressed up as “demonis” (devils), the participants wear scary masks, blow fire from their mouths and light-up fireworks. It all takes place on the beat of drums, filling up the streets and moving into a procession that travels throughout the city. 


San Sebastian has been named as the patron saint of Palma after the arrival of part of his relics to the island is believed to have put a miraculous end to the plague of 1523 and 1524. Originally a roman soldier under the army of Diocletian who (not knowing he was a Christian ) has named him in charge of the first cohort of the imperial pretorian guard. As his faith was finally discovered, he was asked to choose between being a soldier or pursuing his religious faith. He refused, which lead to his sacrifice in the year 288. He was buried in the Via Apia, in the famous catacomb that now carries his name. The first roman christians to reach Mallorca were the ones to bring his martyr faith to the island. 


It all originates in the ancient fight between good and evil, with fire being the purifying element. You will be invited to participate to the celebration, provided you should wear suitable clothing that covers you head as well and protect your mouth with a scarf. 
This year’s celebrations will start at 19:00 hours on the Pont de Sa Riera, continue on the Jaime III street and finish at the Plaza Juan Carlos I. 

Horia Mainescu