Festival of the Sun was a large scale, ritual puppet and mask spectacle performed on a large threshing floor in Santa Agnès de Corona, Northwest Ibiza, in August 2021. Conceived as a midsummer festival, it took inspiration from the pagan ‘lammas’ harvest tradition, celebrating the wheat crops which have been threshed on threshing floors such as the one we performed on for many centuries.
Festival of the Sun was intended as a participatory, community event exploring the ancient meaning of ‘sun worship’ on an island such as Ibiza, where modern sun worship revolves around the island’s beaches and coastline. The performance involved storytelling, ritual theatre and ceremonial choreographies with giant puppets and masked characters. During the experience, the public was presented with ceremonial portions of sourdough bread made with Ibiza’s ancient ‘xeixa’ wheat grain, as well as ceremonial cups of ‘xeixa’ beer.
The performance happening, which was shared with a total of 96 audience members over two days, culminated with the spectacular, ritualistic ‘sacrifice’ of the Sun God, by the Moon Goddess – an unexpected festival guest. This solar death was a reference to many ancient midsummer pagan ceremonies from around the world, representing the need to maintain balance between summer and winter, life and death.
All photographs are by Enrique Villalonga of Filmotica, who also made this short video of the performance.