Friday, 13 August 2010

Images from Mallorca Part 3

Part Three: The Battle of the Moors and the Christians, Pollença village

The Super Poke Pets advertisement at the bottom is somewhat annoying. Look for the X at the top right of the caption and click it to close.

Click on any slide or 'View all images' to see the photos in full screen mode.

Legend has it that on 30th May 1550, the fearsome pirate, Dragut Rais attempted to attack Pollença. Local hero, Joan Mas, went running through the narrow alleys, warning everyone of the imminent danger. They then bravely fought and won the ensuing battle.

Since mid-nineteenth century, the mock battle between Moors and Christians was incorporated into the annual patron saint celebrations. The Christians, dressed in white, and the Moors, in colourful pirate gear, marched along the narrow cobbled alleys of Pollença, banging their poles and firing their rifles. As they moved, crowds from adjoining streets merged into the procession as they snaked slowly along.

Imagine thousands of people crammed into these streets, barely two-car wide, and you can envisage a rather claustrophobic situation. But, thankfully, everyone was in friendly spirits, and kept the celebrations lively and colourful.

A word of caution: if you ever find yourself in one of these processions, you'd be wise to position yourself near a side alley, where you can easily escape should the need arise. Otherwise, you'd be caught up in the throng and would be pushed along, whether you like it or not!

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