Palma.—Palma was ablaze with the torchlight and fireworks on Thursday evening as the city celebrated the Sant Joan summer solstic festival right through the night, with concerts, street theatre and beach parties.

Not just in Palma but around Majorca, it is traditional for people to spend the whole evening on the beach, lighting candles and after midnight, taking a dip in the sea.

Parc de la Mar in the city was hosting its own “Night of Fire” spectacle with troupes of folkloric “devils” in costumes and masks, carrying live torches and setting off fireworks.

The street theatre and music was organised by the Federation of Palma's Residents' Associations. Folk dancing began the evening of events at 8.30pm featuring dance group Campanera Pinyol Vermell, followed by a folk dancing session for the public known as “ball de bot.” An introductory reading or “preamble” to the celebrations were read by comic artist Miguel Angel Llonovoy who alluded to the fact that with a new City Council in power, Catalan was going to lose the local edge it has held over Castillian. He also made some humorous references to more austerity measures being augured by the new local authority.

The reading over, music and fire street theatre group Myotragus gave a spectacle of fire, sound and light with the assistance 50 “devils”, 30 musicians, and numerous technicians.

The entertainment was spread into four acts: “Air” which lasted 30 minutes featuring a boat piloted by a mysterious figure ferrying the souls of the dead; follwed by “Earth” lasting 20 minutes comprised the exchange between “devils” and spectators who bartered for souls. After “Fire” and “Water” had ended, the group “Rock and Press” brought the show to an end with a performance of their new record “Corruption.”

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