Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Monday, August 08, 2011

Expecto Patronam

As I mentioned in the previous post, my daughter has just flow back from Mallorca for a few days to do a job interview. (Downside: Edinburgh is waaaay colder than Mallorca. Upside: the tapwater is drinkable (Mallorcan tapwater is perfectly healthy and tastes perfectly disgusting).

She's working over the summer in a restaurant in Pollenca, at the north end of the island. Mallorca didn't get invaded by the Moors the way the southern mainland did, but it did suffer a lot from Barbary pirates, even after the Christians took back the mainland. One of Mallorca's special bêtes brunes (so to speak) was the famous pirate Dragut Rais, and the folk of Pollenca are extremely proud that they were the ones who finally "sent him homeward to think again". So proud, that every August they have the Patrona festival, celebrating the victory. This is a BIG THING. Obviously a lot of drink is involved. And fireworks. and dancing, and drumming, and loud noisy things. But especially, there is a big pantomime of Dragut Rais and his men (BOOOOO!) versus Peter Perfect and Penelope Pitstop (OK, that's Wacky Races, but the Good Guys). And people get elected to take the parts of the Good Guys (HOORAY!) and the Bad Guys (BOOOO!) and they fight a mock battle and the good guys always win (this is panto, not RL).

So imagine how hacked off the folk of Pollenca were when the white decorations in the main square (which form another traditional part of the festivities) were totally consumed by fire a couple of weeks ago, either in a drunken accident or a drunken prank. (We may not know of the intention, but the drink we can be sure of.) The Mayor of Pollenca went totally apeshit and was threatening to cancel the entire Patrona right up until the starting date. Fortunately he didn't, and the festivities took place as usual. We got an idea of the craziness as we were in Pollenca on the night when the panto principals were elected. And even THAT was pretty wild and boozy and fireworky.

While we certainly have equally rowdy seasonal events in Scotland, Edinburgh's annual festival is pretty well-behaved. But then we never had Moorish pirates to deal with. Though we do have a mosque.


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