The Montuïri Cossiers: the soul of the Festival of Sant Bartomeu

The Cossiers are the star attraction in a festival that is also celebrated in towns like Consell and Sóller

The Festival of Sant Bartomeu brings cultural, sporting and musical activities to several villages on the island of Mallorca. The dance of the Cossiers in Montuïri draws all the plaudits, but there are other events such as the Nit de l’Art in Sóller or La Capta in Consell that attract residents and visitors alike to one of the most important festivals of the summer season.

The Festival of Sant Bartomeu is one of the most traditional – and unmissable – events of the Mallorcan summer. Montuïri, Consell and Sóller are some of the municipalities that celebrate this holiday. However, of all the elements that characterise this summer festival, certainly the most significant is Montuïri’s dance of the Cossiers.

Summer after summer, the Cossiers, who can be traced back to 1821, dance together in a rhythmic and enthusiastic choreography, full of colour and sensuality, filling the streets of the town. The dance, which is performed only three times a year, symbolises the triumph of good over evil. The protagonist is a woman, symbol of femininity and fertility, to whom the men pay homage. This woman will be the figure who overcomes the Devil, a later incorporation with Christian connotations.

The Montuïri Cossiers were awarded the Ramon Llull Prize in 2012 for remaining faithful to the spirit of the celebration. They are the only dancing troupe on the island that has continued uninterrupted throughout its history.

Sant Bartomeu also livens up the valley of Sóller during more than a week of activities designed for all audiences. Sports, culture and entertainment events headline the festival. Programme highlights include the Nit de l’Art, the Mostra d’Artesania Local and the Gran Nit de Foc.

Meanwhile, Consell also holds its own Sant Bartomeu. One of the most anticipated moments is La Capta. This celebration dates back to 1720 when the Consellers (name given to the town’s inhabitants) collected money, food and drink to celebrate the town’s patron saint. Music and fun accompany the youth of the town on the Ruta de Capta. In addition, during the festival, locals can enjoy a wide range of sports, children’s and musical activities.

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