Yesterday was a public holiday, the feast of the Virgen del Pilar (the Virgin of the Pillar) and it was celebrated in a variety of ways. The Virgin is the patron of the Guardia Civil, who celebrated the day in their Palma barracks, an event which was attended by the leading political, military and civil authorities. Bishop of Majorca Mgr Teodoro Ubeda said Mass before a crowd of 2'000, and this was followed by a speech by the Colonel in Chief Cristóbal Santandreu, and one by government representative Catalina Cirer, who said that this was the last time she was to preside the event, as next year she will be running for office as Mayor of Palma. She was visibly moved as she made her speech. Decorations were then awarded and there was a parade by the various units of the Guardia Civil. The Virgen del Pilar is the patron of Aragon, and the day was celebrated by the local Aragonese community, who attended Mass, many of them wearing traditional costume. During the service, their most representative dance, the jota, was performed before the altar. Bikers were also out in force, holding their annual Fiesta Brava. It is an event which is not confined to local bikers, many had come from the neighbouring islands, the rest of Spain and other European countries. On the first day, Saturday, they gathered at the Western Park in Magalluf, where many of them camped out, but yesterday they took to the highways, visiting various parts of the island, including Bellver Castle.


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