festivals, in Mallorca there are a considerable variety of periodic
cultural events with different backgrounds. That's because of the heterogeneous
culture of the island as a result of the people that has lived in Mallorca
(Egyptians, Carthaginian, Roman, Muslims, Jewish and Catalans)
we’ve got a diverse holiday calendar.
Christmas: All Mallorcan localities celebrate Christmas. On Christmas Eve, almost all Mallorcan churches hold the Matines, a service that commemorates the birth of Jesus. During the mass, besides other canticles and praises, the Sybil is sung. The Sybil is a medieval chant that only remains in Sardinia and Mallorca. It foretells the end of the world and announces the Final Judgement.
Procession of the Three Kings: On January 6, the whole island celebrates the traditional arrival of the Three Kings. They arrive on their camels and donkeys and, with the help of their servants, they visit the houses of all those children who have behaved properly all year long and bring them presents and toys.
St. Anthony: On January 17, different festivals are held in honour of the patron saint of farm animals. It is a deeply-rooted tradition, the origins of which go back to the ancient Balearic farming community that implored the protection of their animals. Still today people go to the church with their animals so that St. Anthony can bless them. It is important to highlight the blessings of Mancor de la Vall and Alaró. On the evening of January 16, people celebrate the St. Anthony’s revelry, in which people dance around huge bonfires in the main streets and squares of the villages. One of the most important celebrations is the revelry of Sa Pobla, in which glossators carry out incisive verbal games around the bonfires, while children and adults play the ximbomba, a very primitive musical instrument.
Holy Week: This week has commemorated the death and resurrection of Jesus since medieval times. Brotherhoods take part in processions with their theme carriages as a matter of faith and belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus. The processions on Maundy Thursday in Palma and on Good Friday in Pollença (El Davallament or The Lowering) are very famous. In all Mallorcan homes people make special sweet pastries and the so-called empanades (pies filled with lamb or vegetables). As in Christmas time, on Easter Sunday, families gather together around a table with lots of food.
Corpus Christi: This tradition is celebrated two months after Easter Sunday in most Mallorcan localities, although it is particularly famous in Pollença. In this village, the festivity of Corpus Christi includes two very old traditions that only remain there: the Eagle Dance (Ball de les àguiles) and the ritual dance of Sant Joan Pelós.
Saint Peter and Our Lady of Carmel’s sea processions: On June 29, an important sea tradition takes place, since Saint Peter is the patron saint of fishermen. It is celebrated in most coastal municipalities that have a fishermen brotherhood. On July 16, in some Mallorcan coastal regions, including Sóller, Andratx and Pollença, people celebrate a sea procession in which the Salve Marinera is sung and many local boats decorated for the occasion go out to sea.
Les Valentes Dones and Es Firó (the Brave Women and the Little Market): On the second week of May, Sóller celebrates its most popular tradition, in which the role of the Brave Women during a Turkish pirate invasion that took place on the 11th May 1561 is recalled.
Moors and Christians, Pollença: On July 26, the village recreates the battle between the people from Pollença and 1500 moors commanded by Dragut the Corsair, which took place on the 30th May 1550. It was the worst pirate attack that Pollença had ever suffered. The battle was won thanks to Joan Mass, who went to the main street, alerted to danger and leaded the heroic combat against the enemies.
The Blessed Catalina Tomàs of Valldemossa: On July 28, Valldemossa pays tribute to its patron saint, the Blessed Catalina Thomàs. A float carrying the Blessed marches along the streets of this village. Every year, the community appoints a “little Blessed”, a 6-year old girl who has to be from Valldemossa. Apart from the floats, the village is decorated and the locals dress up in the traditional Mallorcan costumes.
Cossiers d’Alaró: The dance of the Cossiers d’Alaró is a tradition that takes place on August 16 to honour the patron saint’s day (Sant Roc). The dance group usually consists of six men and a lady dressed up in the traditional costume. They are accompanied by a man acting as the Devil, as well as by a musician that plays the flute and the drum. The men dance around the woman.
Traditional dances: There is a wide variety of traditional dances, including: boleros, jotas, copeos and mateixes. The traditional Mallorcan dances, known as Ball de Bot or Ball de Pagès, have a strong matriarchal character, since they are lead by women. They are entirely improvised and erotic, as women make men follow their steps, approaching or distancing themselves from their partners as they please. In the past, these dances played an important role during the patron saint´s festival, as well as during the celebrations organised by the states’ owners when the wheat, olives and figs harvests (amongst others) were abundant.
Official reserve accommodation
Book online hotel, apartments, serviced apartments, hostels, cottages, villas and boutique hotels in Mallorca (Balearic Islands). Tour to travel to Mallorca on holiday or business trips.
Mallorca Hotel Business Federation - NIF V07221435 - Aragón 215 3ª planta - (07008) Palma de Mallorca - Illes Balears - Spain.
Recorded in the Executive Office Deposit Statute of Professional Associations of the Balearic Islands, dated September 1977.