Palma de Mallorca, 30th Nov 04
A TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS IN MALLORCA
All the best of Christmas on the Brit's favourite overseas destination.
Mallorca, by and large, celebrates Christmas in traditional Spanish style, although over the years the foreign community has increasingly influenced the festivities with their own customs. However, the deep rooted Catholic traditions of Christmas, combined with Spanish and Mallorcan culture, make this a very special time of the year on the island. Herewith a round up of what the visitor can enjoy :
Nativity Scenes around Palma
To help the visitor understand the history behind this custom, which first dates back to the 18th century in Spain, a guided tour has been devised taking in some of the most beautiful and ornate nativity scenes around Palma. Here, the visitor can see some of the oldest cribs in Spain, one example, in the “Iglesia de la Sang”, dates back to 1480. However, all visitors can see the best nativity scenes around Palma throughout the Christmas period. In Palma Town Hall, for example, the nativity scene reflects island life and all the figures are handmade. Further information can be obtained from any of the local tourist offices.
A large selection of Christmas goods, including everything you need to make your own nativity scene, will go on sale from December 2nd in Palma’s two main plazas: Placa Major and Placa España. In addition, live street entertainment will be taking place around the city each weekend leading up to Christmas.
The majority of shops throughout Palma are open throughout the day although some still close traditionally at lunchtime. The strength of sterling makes Mallorca particularly good value for the British - savings of up to 50% can be found on a wide selection of goods over prices in the UK.
Baleart – Handicrafts Fair
A great place to pick up unusual Christmas gifts is at this exhibition, which is held from December 3 – 12. Entrance costs 3 euros per person. For more information: Tel: + 34 971 77 13 02. www.firesicongressos.com
Mallorcan choirs will meet to sing traditional carols in an island wide competition from December at various parish churches around the island. For more information: Tel: + 34 971 727590. www.fedcoralsmallorca.com
The European Union Baroque Orchestra will be presenting a Christmas concert on December 16th at 21.00 in Palma’s Basilica of Saint Francisco. This concert will be directed by the soloist violinist, Andrew Manze. Tickets, which cost 6€ per person, can be bought at any branch of the La Caixa bank or bought online: www.servicaxia.com
In addition, Christmas concerts will be featured all over Palma in December culminating in the traditional Christmas Eve service in Palma Cathedral starting at 23.00.
New Year’s Eve
Palma commemorates the anniversary of the Christian conquest of the city by King Jaume 1st on December 31st in 1229. In the morning there is a formal ceremony at Palma’s Town Hall followed by a religious ceremony in Palma Cathedral, and traditional Mallorcan dancing and music.
At night, the locals will take to the streets to greet the New Year all over the island. Traditionally bands play in front of the local town hall and the bells ring out the Old Year whilst revellers open bottles of “cava” and eat grapes in time with the chimes up to midnight. Fireworks can be seen all over the island but the most spectacular fireworks display can be seen from Palma’s Paseo Maritimo which runs between the sea and the city walls.
Local festivals at this time, which are celebrated throughout the island, are extremely popular with local visitors. The main ones include: The Three Kings (January 5th) elaborate parades of the Kings are held throughout the island, sweets and presents are thrown to the children in the crowds; Saint Anthony – the patron saint of animals – people bring their animals to be blessed to the local church (17th January); Saint Sebastian (January 20th) is the patron saint of Palma and all the plazas feature different types of live music. Bonfires and barbecue grills are lit around the city so that revellers can grill their own supper as they enjoy the music.
For further information, please contact:
Mallorca Tourist Board, Dominique Carroll / Anna Skidmore,
Tel:(+34) 971 725 396 Fax: (+34) 971 713 540
Further Press Releases:
GOOD NEWS FOR MALLORCA IN 2012 (09th Feb 12)
THREE KINGS - THE FESTIVITIES CONTINUE! (05th Jan 12)
FESTIVE SWEETS CAN BE HEAVENLY (05th Jan 12)