Sunday, December 25, 2016
Santa Claus Is Coming To Mallorca
Christmas Day in Mallorca. The weather, as it so often is on Christmas Day, is set to be fine, meaning that Facebook will be adorned with, variously, images of folk having their Christmas turkey on the terrace and of the beaches: all designed to wish you were here.
It's a day which, for many Mallorcans, comes and goes much like any other day. The emphasis is still on the Three Kings (and New Year), but with each passing year Santa Claus and Christmas Day encroach ever further. It was surprising perhaps to note that Pollensa (and Puerto Pollensa) had Papa Noel visits yesterday. Here is a town hall led by solid Mallorcan but non-religious ideologies. On both scores, Santa seemed an anachronism. And he wasn't without his controversy. His visit was publicised using both the Castellano and the Catalan versions of his name. Why was the town hall permitting the former in this current age of revived linguistic "normalisation"; in other words, Catalan? A time of peace and goodwill to all men, and the Alternativa per Pollença can still find time to challenge language correctness.
Santa, or rather Papa, has moved in to such a degree that Inca can have - as it did on Friday - a full Papa procession (he set off from the bus station, as all good Santas do) followed by a photocall with Santa. More Facebook opportunities. In Can Picafort two weeks ago, Papa turned up at the Christmas market. There were photos there as well, and Papa was available for taking the children's letters requesting their presents, just like the Royal Pages do for the Kings. In Pollensa there had been a pre-Papa visit gathering so that parents could sort out the presents that Santa would be handing out. All very much a borrowing of Kings' tradition.
Many are the Santas to be found hanging from buildings. Such has been the Santa takeover that in the small town of Porreres last year there was disquiet as to the sheer number of Santas adorning houses. The town hall sensibly decided that it couldn't actually ban them.
It's multi-culturalism, one guesses, though of course in strictly Christian terms. The Swedes have their Santa Lucia, while the Santa original, Saint Nicholas, crops up as well. It was interesting to note that Muslim Turkey, via its national tourism social media presence, should be reminding the infidels that Nick was Turkish. Well, what else is Christmastime for but to promote holidays?
So, Christmas is here for another year. Twelve Christmases have therefore been noted on this blog (except for the one when I ended up in hospital). To all of you who come here, a Merry Christmas. It would be nice to wish a Happy New Year as well. On a less than joyous note, the idiocies of this world continue, and one fears they are becoming ever more idiotic. Peace and goodwill.
And, as is traditional for this blog at Christmas, Laura Veirs returns to see the heavenly stars.