The festivity of Sant Antoni is the most important of those celebrated in Sa Pobla and it has firm roots in traditional antique history (we have evidence of a great devotion since the year 1365). The popular enthusiasm towards the figure of the saint has never declined. The church of San Antonio of Uialfàs was erected as a parish church in the year 1357 (it was demolished in the year 1697 and in the same place the present temple was built, equally dedicated to the abbot saint). In this way, we are sure that since olden days, San Antonio has been present in the story of the people of Sa Pobla. The saint is also the protector of all that is connected to agriculture: the crops, the fields, and the professions related to animals: veterinary doctors, blacksmiths and others.
The festivity of Sant Antonio was declared of touristic interest. It is celebrated on the 16th and 17th of January, to give the start to the solstice of the winter. The founding of the church of Sa Pobla under the appellation and protection of San Antonio de Viana and the devotion of San Antonio is an historical fact and this is seen in the festivities celebrated in honour of the saint since the year 1365. The popular enthusiasm to venerate the saint has never declined, and so a new larger altar was raised dedicated to the saint.
With time, the festivities have enriched and new elements have been incorporated. There is a perfect combination of gastronomy, religion and pure entertainment. A few days before the 'verbena' or festival dance on the eve of the saint's day, the village transforms and undergoes a complete change. The vegetables for the espinagades are prepared. The streets are filled with heaps and piles of sand for the bonfires. The day of the 'verbena' (16th of January) the young people go out in the morning looking for wood for the bonfires of the Parish and the Town Hall, as is the tradition. After having eaten, between three and four o'clock in the afternoon, San Antonio and the devils come out: they go to the bars, to the Old Peoples' Home and 'ca ses Monges' (home of the Nuns) and pursue the young people of the village with hayforks and brooms. Singers of popular songs accompany them and when they come out of the establishments after having had a drink, the devils dance and jump around mocking and making fun around San Antonio. During the day, the people prepare the bonfires.
At around seven in the afternoon, everything is ready and the Town Hall begins with the reception of the authorities and the guests, who then go towards the parish church, accompanied by the "Viejos Caparrots of San Antonio" (big heads), the "Caparrots Minyons of San Antonio", the "giants of the village" and the Grif with the "Demonios de Albopàs", where the solemn Mass takes place of 'Completas'. At the end of the Mass the 'gozos' (poems in honour of the Virgin) are sung, of which there is evidence in the year 1672. When the 'Completas' Mass is over they start the bonfires in the street and in the area of the Plaza Mayor the dancing of the 'cabezudos' begins with a band of music to accompany them. At supper time, the people go with the guests to their homes or to a bonfire to have supper. The menu is the same in many homes: for starters, 'cocas' with peppers and vegetables, followed by a typical rice dish of Sa Pobla or vermicelli and eels cooked in a clay dish.
While the evening lasts, the singing and chanting around the bonfires in the streets and squares continue, giving this strange bewitching tone to this special night. The 17th of January, the day of San Antonio, after a street parade with bag-pipe players and before noon, there is a solemn Mass. For many years the dancing group "Marjal en Festa" offers gifts to San Antonio during the Mass. When the Mass finishes, the "cabezudos" dance once again in the Plaza Mayor.
The festivities are organized around the work of San Antonio; those in charge of the religious acts make sure that everything is ready on time. Everything is made ready for the blessing of the animals, after having eaten, while others prepare the floats.
Integral Figures of the festivity of Saint Anthony:
The devils. These are probably the most popular figures of the festivity. Their presence is documented since before the XIX, although in the year 1958 new ones were made.
The "cabezudos" (big heads). At the end of the year 1953, the Town Hall bought seven, a number which increased to eleven in the festivities of 1955. They dance to the rhythm of "Yo y un buen pastor" (me and the good clergyman), a song arranged in 1952 by Gaspar Aguiló, who together with Jaume Serra, composed the dancing steps. The little 'cabezudos' appeared for the first time in 1983.
The Village Giants. As the Mayor, Antonio Torrens, had the good idea of obtaining a pair of giants, a very traditional figure in the Mallorcan 'rondallas' (stories passed by word of mouth from father to son). The Town Hall opened a popular subscription, thanks to which the two magnificent figures were obtained: the giant Antonio and the giantess Margalida, who made their first public appearance in the festivities of Sant Jaume in the year 1984. These giants also appear in the festivities of San Antonio, together with the 'cabezudos', the little 'cabezudos' and the 'Grif'.
The Grif. In the festivities of San Antonio he year 1998 the "Grif" appeared for the first time as something new in the special dance. Property of the Town Hall, it is made from a fire-proof fibre by the artist Xavier Gensana, a specialist in this type of construction. It is a type of mythological beast having a height of 2'80m and from the point of the wing to the front leg there is a width of 1'40m. It weighs about 50kg and it is carried by one person with three helpers. It spits fire through the mouth and the points on the wings and is accompanied by tambourine players and devils of 'Albopàs'.
The economy of Pobla is based on agriculture. Its crops of potatoes, strawberries and all types of vegetables are well-known, as it has a very rich well irrigated soil.
Sa Pobla is very well connected by the road that goes from Palma to Alcudia, mainly motorway, situated at 2 km from the nucleus. It also has roads going to the beach of Muro, Llubí, Búger and Pollença. The main means of public transport is the train which at present (2011) has a frequent service to and from Palma. The line is run by the company 'Servicios Ferroviarios de Mallorca', which was inaugurated on the 24th of October of the year 2000. The new train station is however only provisional and is to be found near to the road to Muro. The idea is that in the future it will be placed at a point near the road to S'Albufera, with a car park for private cars as well as a bus/coach station. There are already three bus routes with a regular service which connect Sa Pobla with nearby nucleus which are not on the train route: Búger and Campanet, with the terminus in Inca; Muro and Alcúdia, originating from Palma, and Pollença and Port de Pollença. There is also a radio-taxi service but without a taxi stand.
The nearest installations towards the north for the playing of this noble sport are the Golf Pollensa and the Golf de Aucanada.
5th and 6th of January: The 3 Kings (the wisemen).
10th of January: The race of 'Sa Lego' (7.870 m).
16th of January: Verbena de San Antonio (in the last few years known as the witch night), with bonfires, dancing of the 'cabezudos '(big heads), pipers, the appearance of the devils and of Sant Antoni. The festivity is historically documented since the year 1365.
17th of January: Festivity of the patron saint of the parish, San Antonio Abad.
20th of January: Festivity of San Sebastián, with bonfires.
February: Half a Marathon of Sa Pobla. The Rua. March or April: Festivities of Easter week and 'Romería' in the oratory of Crestatx, Easter Tuesday. April: The awards for Literature Alexander Ballester. Annual meeting of the writers of Sa Pobla. Cycling event, Sa Pobla.
23rd of April: Saint George's Day. The day of the Book.
25th of May: Corpus Christi: Salida de los Barretiners.
The end of May: Carrera Solidaria (solidary race) "Juntos hacemos camino" of the school San Francisco de Asís. (Annual)
20th of July: Festivities of the female patron saint of Sa Pobla, Santa Margalida. Popular cycling race in the festivities.
25th of July: Festivities of the patron saint of Sa Pobla, Sant Jaume. A horse race and races for all both day and night.
August: Ciclo Mallorca Jazz Sa Pobla.
October: Popular cycling tourism day. (Annual-created in 1990). Yearly Fair of Bargains. (Founded in the year 2008)
November: Days of local research and studies of Sa Pobla.
The special orographic characteristics of Sa Pobla and its abundant supply of subterranean water have converted the municipality into the main producer of products of an agricultural nature of the island of Mallorca, with the most outstanding product being the early potato, which is exported to England. Other crops which are cultivated in abundance are: beans, strawberries and water melons amongst others. In recent years, thanks to the building of the motorway, the communication with Palma has improved which has produced benefits and Sa Pobla has grown in its number of inhabitants.
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