No rain for Santa Anna
There is a saying which goes like this - "Si plou per Santa Anna, aigua per una setmana (if it rains for Santa Anna, water for a week)." Just at the moment, the chances of rain this Friday are pretty remote, as they are for the following week. Nine years ago, however, it did rain for Santa Anna. This is remembered because the rain cooled things down for Alcudia's every-three-years Sant Crist solemn procession; the Sant Crist celebration is the same day as the feast for the Virgin Mary's mother.
Fireworks and demons' fire
They might be hoping for a drop of rain when the procession starts some time after midday, but they won't be at midnight. The Sant Jaume (and Sant Crist) fiestas come to a conclusion with a pyromusical. Fireworks and music, there are only so many pyromusicals. Sa Pobla, for example, has one for Sant Antoni in January; Can Picafort's is next month.
Elsewhere, there are Sant Jaume fireworks in Algaida on Wednesday, Santanyi on Thursday and Portocolom on Friday. No saints are being honoured, but Playa de Muro and Son Serra de Marina will be lighting up Alcudia Bay twice over on Sunday by having their fireworks at the same time.
More fire comes in the form of the demons. Binissalem's Phylloxera Demons from Hell will be rampaging on Thursday, as will be Manacor's Manafoc demons. Paguera will be borrowing Santa Maria's Factoria de So for Sunday's demonic duties, and on the same night Vilafranca will be spreading more terror and having more whirling, fire-spitting tridents than anywhere else. The "Beatifoc" features the Vilafranca demons and the gangs from Felanitx and Muro.
La Beata in Valldemossa
Vilafranca's fiestas are for La Beata, Santa Catalina Thomàs, but they don't have the tradition of Valldemossa, where the "triumphal carriage" will set off at half nine in the evening. It is a long old day for the children involved. La Beata (Beateta) is always a six-year-old girl. The angels are younger; the heiress and maids of honour rather older. They will all head off for church at half ten in the morning, with mass being at eleven.
Another tradition of La Beata in Valldemossa is the role played by the Montuiri Band of Music. It has a procession at nine in the morning, performs a concert in the evening and then accompanies the carriage. The band has been doing this since 1961.
Cossiers in Algaida
There is tradition aplenty in Algaida, where the Cossier folk dancers and demon appear twice. The main dances are after mass on Thursday morning, while on Wednesday evening they do the "quadrat", an old dance that was revived just a few short years ago.
Mary Lee's Corvette
There are of course numerous night parties for the fiestas. Among them is the first for Pollensa's La Patrona on Saturday, but special mention should go to a concert rather than a party. In Playa de Muro on Friday night, there is the latest in the ongoing Women Don't Wait series. Mary Lee's Corvette is a New York-based band led by singer-songwriter Mary Lee Kortes. They've released five albums and they came to prominence in 2002 with a live recording of songs from Bob Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks" album.
Jazzing up Port Adriano and Sa Pobla
Carla Bruni's Thursday concert having been cancelled because of poor sales, all attention in Port Adriano turns to Maceo Parker on Saturday. Now 76, the jazz-funk and soul saxophonist was, on and off, in James Brown's band from 1964 to 1988. He was also part of George Clinton's Parliament and Funkadelic collective.
Also on a jazz theme, the Sa Pobla Jazz Festival starts next Monday night. The opening concert in Plaça Major features French singer Cyrille Aimée. One reviewer has said of her that she is "beautiful, talented, precocious, funny, cultured, with the kind of instantly-recognisable voice that has no known precedent". In 2007, aged 22, she won the Montreux Jazz Festival Competition.