By Humphrey Carter

OVER 20'000 people visited Palma's cemeteries yesterday and tens of thousands paid their respects to the dead at cemeteries across the Balearics to mark All Saints Day.

The Mayor of Palma, Aina Calvo, led a delegation of local dignitaries to Palma's main Sant Valenti cemetery where she laid a wreath at the monument to the region's fire fighters.

This year, the Palma fire brigade lost its first member on active duty when Alejenadro Ribas was killed on August 6.
Over the past few weeks, cemetery staff have spent hours cleaning the cemetery, the graves and tomb stones and yesterday, all of Palma's three cemeteries were memorial gardens full of flowers, wreaths and even flags to the lost.

At the monument in honour of the victims of the fight for freedom, Republican flags were planted in memory of those who died during the Civil War.
Scores of extra police have been on duty, in particular traffic duty, all weekend because, in addition to the thousands of people who visited the cemeteries yesterday, people have been paying their respects to the dead all over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Extra buses have also been running from key points to the Sant Valenti, Sant Jordi and Establiments cemeteries and the EMT bus service boss, Joan Marti, said yesterday that because people have made the most of the Bank Holiday to visit the cemeteries, the extra bus services have not only proved very popular but also worked without any problems.

In Manacor, thousands of people laid flowers and lit candles at the Son Coletes de Manacor cemetery while in Felanitx, it was a relatively quiet day because most people paid their respects on Sunday.

In Ariany, the small cemetery was packed with people, in particular first thing because of threat of rain in the area.
It was a special day in Maria de la Salut because the council chose yesterday to unveil the new expansion to the cemetery.
The local community had been asking the council for more space for years and yesterday afternoon at 4.30pm the new burial ground was officially unveiled by the local priest Toni Oliver.

In Inca, a delegation from the local council also visited the cemetery where the famous local poet Miguel Duran and the founder of the Majorca School of Ball de Bot, Bartomeu Ensenyat are buried.

At 4pm there was a special religious ceremony at the cemetery in Sencelles while many of the people who visited the cemetery in Santa Maria were able to make their way on foot this year now that the walkway from the town to the cemetery has recently been completed.

Many of the cemeteries remained very busy well into the early evening until they closed. Fortunately, the weather was not as bad as forecast for most parts of the island so people were able to spend precious time with their lost family members or friends.


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