The magic of the Sibil-la
The magic of the Sibil-la, all around the island.
The Sibil-la is a chant of medieval origin that is performed the night of the 24th
of December throughout the many churches of the island. Its importance comes from it being one of the few left examples of religious medieval folklore that have only survived in Majorca and in Alguer and that have therefore been recognized and declared Intangible Cultural Hertiage by the UNESCO on the 16/11/2010.
The Sibil-la is a Gregorian melody describing the Apocalypse and holds several versions that change in text and music as the real author remains unknown. It was one of the most famous Christmas dramatizations that formed part of the Christmas celebrations in the Peninsula but were later prohibited in nearly all cities.
Originally it was sung by a Presbyter but today it is sung by a boy or a girl that during the song walks through the Church up to the choir that sings into the chant. The boy or girl carries a sword that he or she holds straight in front of the face. When the chant comes to and end the performer traces a cross in the air with the sword. In some places the chant is performed a cappella but the clothing is mostly the same. The boy or girl wears a white or red coloured robe as well as a cape and a headdress matching the robe. All of the churches perform the Sibil-la, all together, adults and children to make sure the tradition passes from generation to generation and is not lost during the way.