Demons, dragons, dancing and fireworks to welcome the summer.
One of the most exciting nights of the year is celebrated all over Mallorca with ancient rituals and traditions on Tuesday next week, 23rd June. It's The Night of San Juan, the eve of the saint's day and also the solstice which marks the end of spring and the beginning of summer.
This time of 'out with the old and in with the new' is marked by a cleansing with fire and of course big celebrations held everywhere with bands of demons running amok with smoke, sparks and flames belching incessantly and accompanied by their pet dragons and drummers.
Obviously, the biggest, wildest fiesta is held in Palma, the island's capital and takes place rather aptly in front of the Gothic walls and buttresses of the cathedral in the Parque del Mar public space.
This year is probably the biggest ever 'Nit de Sant Joan' in history and starts at 22:00 on the dot when they light the blue touch paper and POW!!! There'll be around 330 assorted devils and demons on the pitch from five different groups - Enfocats, Realment Cremats, Kimfumfà, Endimoniats (photos) and Trafoc – as well as a couple of dragons; Drac de na Coca and el Drac de Sant Jordi.
The fun will last about an hour in which time 3,500 fire crackers and 86 kilos of 'pyrotechnical material' will go up in smoke. Afterwards there'll be live music with dancing from Ses Bubotes until 01:00, an early finish because we've all got to be up for work on Wednesday morning.
It really is great fun and entertainment for young and old, and if you fancy going (and you should) here are a couple of requirements; don't take your own fireworks, and wear cotton clothing which covers nearly all of your surface area.
Happy San Juan everybody.