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Palma's big party

San Sebastian 2019

jazz at san sebastian

Hold on to your hats, it's time to celebrate Palma's patron saint's day again. Every year the city pulls out all the stops to throw a gigantic Palma-wide party for its patron saint, St Sebastian.

Sebastian never actually visited Palma, well not when he was alive, but in 1524 when the city was in the midst of a rampant plague epidemic, a bone from his long dead arm was brought into town and the plague stopped. As sure as two plus two equals four, Sebastian got the plaudits for the cure and ever since the city has celebrated his day on 20th January.

Whilst there are events, competitions, concerts and activities going on around the date for a few weeks, the main night is San Sebastian Eve, the 19th, which this year coincides with Saturday, so we've got no excuse to get out onto the streets (or should I say squares) to have a really good time.

Basically what happens is that eight of the main plazas in the city centre become al fresco concert venues with bands, DJs and musicians playing all evening until the wee small hours. There are torradas (BBQs) everywhere were people can cook and feast on their own food and drink and everyone has a good time.

It all kicks off at 18:00 in the Plaza Mayor with the official opening ceremony of the evening with noise, dancing, drums, big heads and giants and the star of the show. The fire breathing dragon who parades about belching sparks and lights the ceremonial bonfire to get the show on the road at about 20:00.

From then on it's music all the way with each square having a different kind, I think they call it genre, of music starting at around 20:30 to 21:00. You can pick out whichever you fancy from;

Plaza Mayor – World and Folk music and dancing

Plaza de L'Olivar – Swing and Rockabilly

Plaza de Jacint Verdaguer – Urban

Plaza Espana – Pop and big hits

Plaza de la Reina – Flamenco and Rumba

Plaza de Juan Carlos – Pop and Rock

Plaza de Cort – Jazz (photo)

La Feixina – Electronic Music

So, something for everybody there. It's a long night, so pace yourselves and wrap up warm as it gets a bit chilly if you're not dancing or snuggling up to a BBQ!

The full San Sebastian programme is available here in Spanish