Discover the traditions of Mallorca
The traditional festivals of a nation are part of its oldest cultural heritage. They are the values that the inhabitants identify with, that distinguish them and make them unique among other cultures. If you want to get to know and approach the roots of the islands, you should take part in one of the festivals that are celebrated throughout the year.
2 February / 11 November: Light shows in Palma Cathedral
Mallorca Cathedral, or La Seu as it is also known, faces east with its rear wall and west with its façade. On both walls, the cathedral has two spectacular rose windows. The window on the east wall, the Gothic Eye, is one of the most beautiful in Europe with its more than 1000 coloured glass panes and an area of almost 100 square metres. The play of light is projected by the rising sun through the rosettes of La Seu, with the main rosette above the presbytery casting its shape, patterns and colours onto the sandstone wall at the opposite end of the nave. The climax of this spectacle lasts around five minutes and is reached when the rosette of light forms a figure eight together with the rose window on the west portal. The event is repeated every year on 11 November and 2 February.
11 May: Es Firó de Sóller
The show depicts the battle of Port de Soller and Soller in 1561. At three o'clock in the afternoon, the ringing of bells puts the population on the alert. Enemy ships have been sighted. The peasants gather in the square of the Estiradors (Sóller) to go into battle. At 5.00 p.m. in the port of Sóller, the Saracen troops try to land, but are repelled by the Sollerics after a hard fight. In historical costumes, with black faces and their swords in their hands, they occupy the beach. In the noise and smoke of the shotguns, the peasants try to defend their land. On the beach, one can observe the interpretation of the fierce battle that has been unleashed. Some tourists find themselves with pierced hats and faces painted by the Saracens. A second attack, on d'en Repic beach, also favours the invaders. After winning another battle at Pont d'en Barona (Sóller), a large part of the Moors arrive in the square. On their way, they cannot avoid looting the centre of the town. The town hall, the bank, the houses, the attackers go up the stairs and take out gold and other valuables. At 8 p.m. the looting becomes an uphill battle as the Sollerics arrive, the square is filled with smoke and someone is seen hanging from a tree. Finally, the peasants are the victors and their captain Angelats announces the victory from the town council. Together they sing "La Balanguera" and Moors and Christians spend the rest of the night at a big party.
28. July: Festes de la Beata de Valldemossa (Valldemossa Blessed Virgin's Festival)
One of Mallorca's most popular and deeply rooted festivals, you don't want to miss it. Full of colour, music, dance and tradition, the festivals of Santa Catalina Tomas dazzle every year in the municipalities of Valldemossa, Santa Margalida and Palma, honouring the most beloved religious of Mallorcan popular culture. On 28 July, Valldemossa honours its patron saint with the peculiar parade of the triumphal float. It is an emotional tour of its streets, with the "Beateta" and her entourage of angels parading alongside cars decorated with colourful ribbons and flowers to the music of the band and the "xeremiers" (bagpipers).
September: Vermar de Binissalem
During the last fifteen days of September, the whole village of Binissalem celebrates the end of the grape harvest. The Festa des Vermar attracts people from all over the island and beyond who come to enjoy wine tastings, grape stomping competitions, carnival-like parades and an outdoor dinner served with the Vermar Fideus (a traditional pasta dish).
November: Dijous Bo in Inca
This fair attracts about 200,000 people to the streets of Inca. The Dijous Bo (literally translated: "Good Thursday") began as an important cattle market. Later, it has developed into a lively fair with something for absolutely every taste. There are a variety of stalls selling handicrafts, leather goods and Mallorcan products. In addition, there is a fair with many attractions. Dijous Bo is celebrated on the second Thursday of November.
31 December: New Year in Mallorca
New Year's Eve is an almost ideal time to stay in Palma. The streets are ablaze with Christmas lights, the shops are full of life and the city is filled with the merriment of the festive season. If you are visiting Mallorca at this time of year, you should familiarise yourself with the local customs on New Year's Eve: Before midnight, it is the custom to have 12 grapes ready, to go to the main square of the village to wait in front of the clock of the town hall for the 12 chimes of midnight. With each midnight bell, a grape is eaten - so 12 rings, 12 grapes. It is said that you have to make a wish during the ringing. At the end of the ritual, everyone hugs, kisses and wishes each other a happy new year. In Palma, this tradition takes place in front of the clock "de'n Figuereta", which is located in the town hall, in Cort square.