Los Reis arrived last night to hand out gifts but the fiesta celebrating the first time they saw the baby Jesus is actually today. The 6 January is the fiesta of Epiphany, which means the manifestation of the divine in a visible form. I always breathe a slight sigh of relief at this time because it means the very long Spanish Christmas holiday is over and I can really get stuck into the New Year.
That is, until the fiesta of San Sebastia which kicks off around 18 January. (I’m sure Spain has more holidays than any other country in the world.) San Sebastia is a big deal in Palma because he’s the patron saint of the city. For three nights, Palma echoes to the sounds of rock and roll bands and fireworks. Fires are lit in the squares of the barrios and families grill meat on communal barbeques. As flames turn the ancient walls red, smoke rises into the night and drumbeats thunder down the narrow streets, the Old Town feels satisfyingly wild and bacchanalian.
I’m always reminded of Plato’s ‘When the music changes, the walls of the city shake’. Pretentious, moi?
One night of being smoked, deafened and jostled is usually enough for me but San Sebastia is a truly authentic Mallorquin fiesta and well worth the trip to Palma. But looking closer to home, there are a couple of events happening in Deià this weekend that I’d like to bring to your attention:
Cecilie Sheridan at Sa Cova
Many of us know Cecilie as a champion of the arts in Deià and the organiser of art shows at Belmond La Residencia. Together with her husband, the late George Sheridan, she amassed one of the most important private collections of art in Mallorca, featuring the work of around 60 artists and spanning more than four decades of art. Many of Deià’s best-loved painters past and present are in the collection, which is exhibited permanently at the Residencia.
But Cecilie is also an artist in her own right and her work is currently being shown at Restaurante Sa Cova, just off the main street opposite The Village Café.
This is the last weekend to see Cecilie’s show and Sa Cova will be open from 6pm onwards tonight (6 Jan), Saturday and Sunday. Apart from being able to enjoy Cecilie’s art, this is also a wonderful opportunity to savour Sa Cova’s mouthwatering homemade dumplings, wontons and dimsum.
Dance your way into 2017
As my regular readers will know, I’m a huge fan of DJ Nin Petit’s Saturday ‘Wake Up Dance’. And, after a holiday when many of us no doubt succumbed to the temptation to overindulge, I can’t think of a better thing to do than to dance your way into 2017.
Tomorrow’s Wake up Dance is at Sa Tanca and the good vibes will flow from 11.30-3pm. Nin Petit and friends ask that you make a donation off at least €10.
Listen to David Templeton’s third podcast
If you haven’t discovered Deià artist and Pamboli band singer David Templeton’s regular podcasts on Mixcloud, you’re in for a treat.
As those of us who are privileged to know David are well aware, he’s a fantastic storyteller. In his third podcast, available to listen to here, David talks about his great love for The Beatles, especially his hero John Lennon. David shared this lifelong infatuation with The Beatles with the late, deeply missed, Juan Graves.
One of the highlights of David’s latest podcast is his telling of the story of how he met Juan. It truly captures the sweet eccentricity of a man I was glad to know.
For me, David’s podcasts embody the real flavour of Deià.
You might also like to check out the 9 January edition of The New Yorker magazine and discover the unlikely connection between David, Deià and the band which dominated 2016.
It’s the time of year when writers like to make predictions for the coming year and I figured I’d do the same, in my own humble way. Then I thought, come on, this is Deià. Anything can happen. Thank something or other.
Portrait of Juan by David Templeton