See also “First Day Cover” - “Postmark”
Every year, on January 17 many places on Mallorca are dressed in red to celebrate Sant Antoni.
The feast day is celebrated with music, torradas (barbecues), parades, correfocs, and the traditional animal beneïdes (blessings) in different towns on the island. Many towns celebrate this festival, but the traditional festivities in the town of Artà are especially interesting.
On the day before Sant Antoni, 16 January,, the town gets up early for “es Berenar”, a traditional breakfast of hot chocolate and ensaimada pastries at the Obrer Major’s house. Then the parades begin, with musicians accompanied by traditional demonic figures, symbolising evil and temptation.
In the afternoon, the town prepares to read fragments of the life of Saint Anthony and sing songs like “Lo Elogi”. When night falls, the fires are lit and with the heat and light of the flames, the people start to sing “las Gloses”. Some of these traditional Mallorcan songs from the night of Sant Antoni have a marked erotic tone and are accompanied by the deep notes of the zambomba drum.
On the big day, 17 January, the procession and the traditional blessing of animals are celebrated. After a solemn mass, “s’Argument” is read, a satirical composition summarising the most important events of the previous year.
The issued stamp, which will leave a permanent record of this tradition, displays an image of the demons escorting the saint, thus symbolising the numerous temptations to which this saintly anchorite was subjected.
This issue corresponds to the “Fiestas” series, which captures the many spectacular festivals and traditions celebrated in every corner of the country.