By John Smith •
Published: 29 Jan 2024 • 10:59
Just one of the sets of Giants parading through Palma
Credit: Palma Council
On Saturday January 27, there was a gathering of Giants in Palma with examples arriving from some 14 different municipalities and suburbs of the city.
Thanks to the good weather, a large crowd turned up to enjoy the XXVI Trobada de Gegants de Palma (Meeting of the Palma Giants).
Each group brought with them their own pipers (xeremiers) and the parade started at 10am with each collection of Giants setting off towards the Plaza de Cort.
There have been records of Giants in Palma since 1734 but those made to look human first appeared 1904 when Palma Council commissioned ceramicist La Roqueta de Palma to create Tofol and Bet-Maria who made regular appearances in festivals until 1936, when they became unlikely casualties of the Civil War.
After Franco took control, two new Giants Tofol and Francinaina were created in the 1940s and they stood guard outside City Hall on special occasions until they were blown over by strong winds and were then vandalised.
Come the 1960s Tofol and Francinaina were reborn and eventually joined by two musicians and another pair of giants Tomeu and Margalida who are currently all in one piece and the pride of the Palma Council.
There is no doubt that the Giants are well respected in Mallorca and whenever they make an appearance, crowds are bound to welcome them.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development.
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