Soller is having a huge party – you are so welcome

Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin
Tuesday 4th October 2016

Photographs by Rachel Fox

Soller is the ‘Capital Cultural de la Serra de Tramuntana ‘Patriomonio de la Humanidad’.  This is the official title given to it when UNESCO gave the area its status as a Heritage Site on 27th June 2011.
The Serra de Tramuntana mountain range was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO under the Cultural Landscape category. This is the international community’s acknowledgement of the near-perfect symbiosis between the action of human beings and nature, which has occurred for centuries, resulting in a monumental work by humans in which culture, traditions, aesthetics, spirituality and identity are merged.
The Serra de Tramuntana mountain range forms the backbone of the north-west of Mallorca. It runs for around 90 km, with a maximum width of 15 km, over 20 municipalities, the largest of which are Calvià, Pollença and Escorca—, and covers 30% of the island’s territory and more than 1,000 km2. Approximately 8,000 people live in the central areas, but the buffer zone population is 40,000 inhabitants. Several of its peaks have an altitude of over 1000 m, and the highest are Puig Major (1,443 m), Puig de Massanella (1,348 m), Serra d’Alfàbia (1,069 m), Es Teix (1,064) and Galatzó (1,026 m).
This little geography lesson on our home base is relevant because it represents the many reasons people come to this place and what they hope to find when they arrive. This weekend so many interests merge that a new Fiesta has been created to which you are all invited. The new autumn celebration is called the Fira de la Mar Serra de Tramuntana.  Quite a mouthful to emphasis the place that the sea and the mountains have in the Soller Valley.
Last year, in March, the first Prawn Fiesta was held and was a huge success.  This has been incorporated into the new Fiesta and Soller prawns and much more will be tasted through the days of this celebration. New for this fiesta is the ability to look round some of the emblematic buildings of the military past of the Port of Soller.  The other big change is all to do with the place of the Havaneres in the Port of Soller.
The Havaneres is known as the ‘Fisherman’s lament’ as it originates in the exile of fishermen and others from the Catalan regions of Spain to Cuba. It is widely sung in the resorts of the Costa Brava and in Mallorca. The Port of Soller hosts a weekend each year devoted to the music of the Haveneras

Havaneras have their origin in Cuba from where they were exported to the Costa Brava and Mallorca in the 19th century by Catalan sailors and emigrants who came back home.
In Havana, the capital of Cuba the first Habaneras appeared around 1825 and were called “Danzas Havaneras”.  The Tango was the dance that came from this era of music.  In 1842 the first havanera, “El amor en el baile” was published as a score. Amics dels habaneres” and other groups in 1967 organized the first public Cantada on the beach in the Costa Brava and which has continued annually ever since. This event is today known all over Europe and crowds occupy the beach to listen to the Havaneras there.  Seven years ago a decision was made to make the Port of Soller the Havaneres capital of Mallorca and every year thousands join us for the festival.
This year the Trobada d’ Havaneres takes its part in the Fira de la Mar and has its stage at the Santa Catalina end of the Port. It all starts on Friday 7th October from 19.30pm till 23.30.  On Saturday 8th October a lunchtime concert happens between 12 & 2 pm and then again from 19.30 till late. Special priced trains from Palma are available which links to the Tram – joint ticket price just 10 euros –  to get you to the water side venues. The train leaves Palma at 18.30 and gets you back on a special late night Soller train after midnight.

If you are dining in the Port of Soller on these two nights wandering groups of Havaneres singers will pop by to entertain and bring the music to the people. The Havaneres icons and singers include the music of Tomeu Penya, Antonio Pons Puig, Olla Barrejada, Mar Endins and Anada I Tornada.
So the music, the prawn, cultural visits and exhibitions all merge into one big party to which you are all invited.  Soller loves to smile and celebrate its great place in the universe.

Please come and join us we look forward to seeing you there this weekend…

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