Tuesday, December 19, 2006

When Giants Dance

Traditions, traditions. Mallorca has its traditions. I’ve spoken of them in the past. We are entering a period of strong local tradition - the Kings, Nit Bruixa, Sant Sebastià. On Sunday, there was a little bit of revived tradition - in Alcúdia. The giants danced for the first time in many a year. The giants are to the town of Alcúdia what the beach is to the resort. They help to define the town. They stand in front of the town hall during the summer fiesta of Sant Jaume, and now they can dance once again, thanks to some nifty remodelling. And of course people go to see them dance, as they go to see the Kings arrive or go to be chased by the devils of Sant Antoni Eve.

What do we British have? I’ve said it before. Very little. Even something like Hallowe’en has been overtaken by the Americanisation of trick ‘n’ treat (albeit that some areas especially in the north of England have long had their own celebrations such as “mischievous night”). Somehow I couldn’t see the population of, say Basingstoke, pitching up to watch some dancing giants. Too sophisticated for that sort of malarkey.

The Andratx scandal rumbles on. One of the central characters - Jose María Rodriguez - has been forced to issue a denial that it was he who tipped off the mayor. But it also would seem that his phone was being tapped prior to the police intervention.

And weather ... Grey and greyer, at least in the north. The clouds are hanging permanently over the mountains, and it has been very, very wet these past two days. Yet this morning - in Palma - it was clear. One of the island’s oddities is that there can - on occasion - be a very distinct north-south divide weather-wise.

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