It is the time of the Firo and normally the place is packed and celebrating. | Rachel Fox


The world has been watching Soller this week. It is the time of the Firo and normally the place is packed and celebrating. Every year on 11th May we celebrate the defeat of the pirates by the good people of Soller helped out by a few other villages. This is a five-day event culminating in the re enactment of the battle on the beaches and victory in town.

Firo is a state of mind for Sollerics and an outstanding effort and performance for visitors who happen to be in our world.

This year Soller and the Port are exactly the same as the rest of Majorca in Covid lockdown. The people and the Town Hall have gone to extraordinary lengths to make a virtual and balcony Firo experience for all. On Saturday evening paragliders bearing the Moors and the Christians flags performed a huge loop from the mountains to the sea. Doorstep parties of bingo and music have gone on everywhere. The neighbourhoods have all got closer with the daily clap for the health workers and Firo has cemented the closeness.

Now the Grand Finale of the Firo coincided with moving into Phase One of the emerging out of lockdown. This became a double celebration and I was even allowed in my daughter’s house to be with the family for the first time in 8 weeks. It was a wonderful occasion and up and down the street people were greeting friends and family and eating with some of them. Everyone was very mindful of the conditions and social distancing was observed. All this didn’t matter if the hugs and kisses had to be virtual it was a great feeling. Barbecues for up to 10 were going on in most gardens and life appeared like Firo always feels with the family and people you care about.

Before the celebrations, the days had been spent studying the 25-page document giving all the rules for this stage of our de-confinement. A group of us were involved and it really was like unravelling a war document. As the legislation got understood and the translations were done we put the information out to the groups we represented. Sollerweb was on fire with updates and comments well into the night.

We all did our best on Saturday and then Sunday we started again as more information started coming through. I can’t believe there is going to anything left for the next stage. The attention to detail has been immense and all I can hope is that the police are kept updated. Nothing more embarrassing for them to stop people for behaving exactly within the law.

This week we are all beginning a new thought process of how we are going to get our business lives back on track. In the Soller Valley the majority of bars and restaurants will not re open until more information about the future is given to them by local and central government. The bars that buck this trend are going to be gratefully used by residents desperate to get out for that coffee and a chat.

The new rules give us permission to go through the Soller Tunnel and into the big wide world again. We can visit friends and family, spend money at a supermarket and go to the hairdresser without an appointment. Such things we never thought we would ever give a thought to. Life will be different as the future just can’t click back to what it was in the past. The main reason isn’t esoteric or mindful it is purely practical. The virus hasn’t gone away it is still living amongst us. The hospitals could cope if many of us became ill as that is what they have been preparing for. We all have to wash our hands often, use masks where appropriate and always social distance. There has been no change in these rules and more people on the street make them more important than ever.

Firo 2020 will never be forgotten and has been catalogued in so many social media ways. A permanent archive of this pandemic year will be easy to collate. The girls who were elected as the Valiant Women for this years Firo will also serve for 2021 so they will have the virtual and actual experience before their tenure is up. Exactly as it should be…