Wednesday 12 July 2017

Fiestas of Mallorca: San Fermin Island Style

There I was in the patio of a rural finca, dressed all in white except the red handkerchief at my neck, packed in among hundreds of others dressed the same. From somewhere water was spraying wildly, soaking us through.

An overweight man appeared on the upstairs balcony, squeezed into a thick velvet matador costume. He had big yellow teeth and thick black glasses. He donned his cap at us and demonstrated a few fearless poses. 

An old hippy with grey sideburns bellowed into a loudspeaker beside him, each declaration eliciting cheers and applause.

The fiestas of San Fermin had arrived in Mallorca! It was going to be a great fiesta, a crazy fiesta and more importantly a fiesta without death! Una fiesta sin muerte! Because an increasing majority are coming to the conclusion that there's no need to torture animals to have a good time... 

Everyone screamed as the grotesque matador lit the firework - the chupinazo - to mark the beginning of the party. The throbbing, noisy crowds parted as the bulls arrived. The PLASTIC bulls. With big PLASTIC horns.

They charged. RIGHT INTO ME. I died instantaneously. And then died again a few minutes later. It was so packed, it was hard to move out of the way. Each time I couldn't help screaming as if I really was about to be mowed down. 

(The photo below was taken a few hours later when the bulls were having a last minute run around in the virtually empty back garden!)

A brass band struck up and we followed their happy rhythm across the adjoining patios. At one point they handed out sheets of lyrics and we belted our hearts out beneath some old arches. Water fights broke out, and no one minded getting wet, because it was boiling hot. In fact every time I dried, I looked for someone with a brightly coloured plastic gun and held my hands up, imploring them to shoot me.

It was packed and messy and hilarious and absurd and it made me think... With all these crazy fiestas, how can I resist setting another novel in Spain?

N.B The Fiesta takes place every July at the music venue Sa Possessio.

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