Every year the Moors and Christians day takes place in May and yet it owes little to historical accuracy. The origin of the current fiesta is the restoration of the Turkish domination over the Mediterranean sea in the late fifteenth century, beginning with its series of invasions in the western Mediterranean from Africa.
Charles V of Habsburg attempted to beat the pirates along with Aragon, Castilla and the Balearic Islands but he failed.
In the mid-sixteenth century nowhere on the coastline was safe from a pirate sacking, something that the then inhabitants of Alcudia, Andratx, Pollença and Sóller would have confirmed. The watchtowers dotted around the island bear witness to those pirates threats.
The Sollerics celebrate every May victory in a battle that took place in 1561. The way that it was won is not quite certain but everyone taking part wants to play the role of the Moors as they have the colourful costumes, faces painted black and they get to chase women and sail boats.
The beginning of the fiesta is announced at 3 o’clock, and the Moors sail out to sea, then return immediately to invade. On the beach, the Christians are waiting for them, and they fill their mixed powder guns and shoot constantly in the air.
Majorcan women remain outside at first and sing their songs of war. The victory against the Moors in Soller is attributed to the brave women of the town because, when the men seemed to be losing, it is the women who attacked.
As a spectator it is best if you watch the event with a sense of humor or join in the action….
Semana de Pascua, Easter Week on Mallorca truly is spectacular. The festivities begin on Palm Sunday with the Mass. The festivities begin on Palm Sunday with the Mass of the Lord’s Passion celebrated in the Cathedral of Palma. Priests and believers pass through the alleys, led by the bishop of Palma. Palm and olive branches are consecrated with blessed water and numerous spectators decorate themselves with the green branches as well.
During Semana Santa, the Holy Week, enormous images of Christ on the Cross, Madonna’s and Saints are carried through the city accompanied by figures in long pointed hoods. Like this the various brotherhoods of Palma create a medieval atmosphere in the procession “Crist de la Sang” (The blood of Christ) – Goosebumps included! This procession, documented in 1554 is one of the most important of Semana Santa.
The oldest brotherhood of Palma also dates from this time. There are 30 brotherhoods in Palma alone, 50 in all of Mallorca and most of them were established in the twentieth century particularly in the forties or fifties and a few in the nineties. The brotherhoods each have their own habit and hood colours, different banners and unique statues of Saints or of Christ on the cross. The Ceremony of the Silent Penitents (previously an all male affair, nowadays also has women members of the brotherhoods, there being one brotherhood that is only women) begins in the evening at the Plaza de l’Hospital and travels through the centre of the city along and crossing the streets of Olmos, Sant Miguel, Colom, Plaza de Cort, Paseo Borne, Jaime III, Calle Bonaire until reaching the Church, Iglesia de La Sang.
Each brotherhood is accompanied by a musical group whose drums beat the rhythm of the march. The figure, “Crist de la Sang” is the most important Crucified Christ statue in Palma. Only after the penitents have received their blessings can the celebrations of Easter begin. The Villages of Mallorca also have their processions and masses.
The Evening Mass on Easter Sunday is especially worth seeing as it is the most important Mass in the whole year and there is the presence of a great number of Mallorcas priests. The ceremony is led by the Bishop of Mallorca, with the highlight being the renewal of the sacramental oils. The oils which come from Bunyola are blessed along with bread, water and wine. On this day The Cathedral of La Seu is not only wonderful from the outside but also inside where the resplendent atmosphere of devotion is unique.
In Pollença and Santa María del Camí there are still workshops that make cloth with handriven looms. Its uniqueness is in the warp of colourful threads, dyed in paste or earth baths, and their original ornamental designs. The bosses for the distribution of each unique warp guard well the secrets of each workshop for generations.
The threads of the handwoven cloths are always white, meanwhile the width of the cloth is limited due to the structure of the looms and therefore the handwoven material cannot exceed 80 or at best a 100cms. Its typical of Mallorcan woven material that linen and cotton are mixed but sometimes silk and linen are also mixed. The mix of cotton and linen creates great strength and good wear for machine washing. By the way, woven cloth is recognisable because the front and back of the cloth always show the design with the same colour whereas if printed one side is more saturated.
Impressions of the magical miniatures of the many Christmas crips you can visit in Palma… and the current Calendar 2016 for the expositions around the island:
♥ Christmas Crip in Town Hall Palma
Location: Plaza de Cort, 1. Palma de Mallorca
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 9 – 21 h., Sun 10 – 20 h
♥ Christmas Crip of the Caputxines
Location: C/ Caputxines 14, Palma de Mallorca; entrance 3,00 Euros as a donation.
Opening hours: 11 a 14 y 17.30 a 20.30 h, except 25/12 and 1/1.
♥ Christmas Crip Mallorquín in Misericordia
Location: Centro Cultural la Misericòrdia. Plaza de l’Hospital, 4. Palma de Mallorca
Opening hours: 10 – 14 h and 16 – 20 h.
♥ Christmas Crip of the Market de Santa Catalina
Location: Plaza Navegació, s/n. Palma de Mallorca
Opening hours: the same as the market itself.
♥ Christmas Neapolitan Crip in the Museum Fundation Bartolomé March
the whole year
Location: Palau Reial, 18, Palma de Mallorca; entrada 4,50 Euros.
Opening hours: Mo – Fri 10 – 14 h
♥ Christmas Hebrew Crip
Location: Iglesia de Santa Catalina Tomàs
Pl. de Santa Pagesa, 5 Palma de Mallorca
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10.30 – 12 h and 19 – 20.45 h, Sun 8 – 13 h and 17 – 20
♥ Christmas Crip of the Center of Military History and Culture
Location: Calle Sant Miquel, 69 BJS. Palma de Mallorca
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11:00 – 13:00h and 17:30 – 20:30 h. Sat 11:00 – 14 h.
♥ Christmas Crip of the Church San Antonio Abat
Location: C. de la Blatera, 49. Son Ferriol
Opening hours: Sat 19.30 h, Sun 10 and 19.30 h
♥ Christmas Crip of the Church Sant Roc
Location: C. del Reverend Gabriel Bestard, 12, Palma de Mallorca
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 18.30 – 20.30 h, Sun 10.30 – 12.30 h
♥ Christmas Crip de la Parroquia de Cristo Rei
Location: C. de Baltasar Valentí, 32 A. El Viver
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 19 – 20 h, Sun 10 – 11 h
♥ Christmas Crip of the Fundation “Sa Nostra”
Location: C. de la Concepció, 12
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10.30am – 1.30pm and 5 – 8pm.
The first of November, the All Hallows or All Saints day is also a festivity in Spain and all the shops are closed.At the “Día de todos los santos”, the day of All Hallows in spanish, people think about people who had left this world just like in the U.K. but also about the next generation. In Mallorca, the tradition says that the the kids get a necklaces decorated with sweets. If you are at this time on the island, you can attend as well one of the many services in english.
As a snack “in between” these days there is something particularly tasty: the “buñuelos”, fritters. This wonderfully fragrant fried pastries are also sold on the streets of the Island. In this feature you will get some impressions of the Majorcan festivity of “All Saints”.
King Jaime I of Aragon – the Conqueror – has liberated Mallorca from the Moors in 1229. He went on land in Santa Ponsa – and that celebrates the town firmly every year.
During several days every September take place at the beach promenade and the harbor of Santa Ponsa lots of entertainment and activities: open-air movies, concerts, traditional dances, Gegants (Giants), medieval market, beach spectacle and sporting activities. The highlight of the festivities: King Jaume I and his army go ashore to meet their fate – let’s see if they win (again) this time ..
Carnival is here!!
Even though it’s not Rio de Janeiro or Gran Canaria you should not miss the chance to see the big carnival parade in Palma, “Sa Rua!”
The large number of people dressed up for the carnival, the colourful floats from the various towns and the authenticity of the costumes will surprise you!
The procession starts Sunday afternoon on the Passeig Mallorca and goes down Jaime III over the Borne and then from the Borne back over the same route again.
Earlier Saturday at 10.30 am the children take part in their very own carnival “Sa Rueta”! They have lots of FUN!
Not every day is a good day. But you can be sure that the third Thursday of November on Majorca it will be a “good Thursday” or at least it is in Inca. Dijous Bo, it’s Majorca’s most renowned fair, and it is organized in a city that is known for leather-merchandise and shoe-industry.
Inca finishes its traditional Herbstkirmes, whose origin goes back to 1543, and finishes with the Dijous Bo. It is about a series of fairs, that starts on Sunday after Saint Lukas in October and includes the three following Sundays. The fourth Sunday there’s no fair-day, but the Thursday of the next week is called the Dijous Bo.
On this big fair is as good as everything to find, from handicraft until industry-products, including a big country-machine-exhibition. Also animals give to buy it there, and it is organized livestock-competitions, in which outstanding copies are introduced. The number of the exhibitors is very high, as well like the selection at products, so that real streams of people, that one cannot escape the Dijous Bo, meet here every year. independently from the weather.
The event-program begins already several days with numerous and versatile suggestions for each public previously. Is a painting-competition, a chess-tournament and the Rallye Dijous Bo from it to accentuate.
A parking place, to find in Inca on this day. even the good Thursday is not sufficiently good for it – the train, to recommend here by all means, is. You find the railway station of the Spanish place (Plaça d’Espanya) in the heart Palmas.
The popular dish “Pa amb oli”, (pronounced plm bowly), just like ensaïmada or paella, is known as a national delicacy.
Literally translated “Pa amb oli” means “bread with oil”, it’s as simple as that. Quick and easy to prepare, it is a humble combination of brown bread, scrubbed tomato, oil and salt. It may be simple to make, but that does not mean it has a simple taste.
There are variations on the basic Pa amb Oli such as adding garlic and fennel or leaving out the tomato. These varieties depend much on the area where the pa amb oli is made or on the particular tradition of each family. Pa amb Oli can be combined with salted or Iberian ham or with cheese and of course, you can eat it unadorned, just as it is, for lunch or for dinner.
Pa amb oli has become a sort of cultural tradition among the Majorcans. It is frequent to meet to prepare pa amb oli rather than having a coffee.
This simple meal can be found round every corner in Mallorca and in some restaurants it is served with olives as a starter.
And of course: enjoying pa amb oli in a Mallorcan beach is a dream come true.