Palma de Mallorca, 26th Nov 07
A MEDITERRANEAN CHRISTMAS ON MALLORCA
This time of year is very special on the island and a great opportunity to experience some traditional customs, food and drink.
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. The deep rooted Catholic traditions of Christmas, combined with Spanish and Mallorcan culture, make this time of year very special on the island. Here with a round up of what the visitor can enjoy:
Nativity Scenes around Palma
This custom, which first dates back to the 18th century in Spain, is well kept on the island and in Palma the visitor can see some of the oldest and most ornate nativity scenes. A few examples include: Can Marques (www.canmarques.net) Santa Catalina Market, The Misericordia Cultural Centre, and churches such as the “Iglesia de la Sang”, which features a crib dating back to 1480. In Palma Town Hall the nativity scene reflects island life and all the figures are handmade. Further information can be obtained from any of the local tourist
Christmas "Foodie" Guided Tours - Palma
A series of guided tours are being organised throughout December in various languages with a Christmas gastronomic theme. The two hour tour takes in the traditional flavours of Christmas on the island to the more conventional and participants will be able to sample different foods en route. Cost is 10€ per person and more information can be obtained from any of the Palma tourist offices.
The majority of shops throughout Palma are open throughout the day (although some traditionally close at lunchtime). Mallorcan goods and produce still represent good value for the British.
Baleart – Handicrafts Fair
A great place to pick up unusual Christmas gifts is at this exhibition, which is held from December 5 – 9th at Palma Airport’s Terminal A. For more information: Tel: + 34 971 77 13 02. www.firesicongressos.com
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.
In the Calvia region at Puerto Portals, a Christmas Fair will be held from December 1st, 12 midday – 19.00 with 60 stands offering a selection of international and local gifts plus lots of Christmas food and drink to sample and take home.
The Lindner Golf & Wellness Resort will be organising a Christmas Fair on December 6th from 12.00 midday to 18.00 (www.lindnerhotels.com) and a typical German style Christmas Market will take place at the Pueblo Español on the 8th and 9th of December from 12 midday to 22.00 (www.congress-palace-palma.com).
Palma Town Hall has compiled a guide to the best shopping in the Mediterranean which is available from all local tourist offices.
Palma Cathedral will be offering a free concert on December 15th at 20.30 (tickets available from Caixaforum in the Gran Hotel in Palma).
The Balearic Symphony Orchestra presents a Bach Christmas concert with carol singing on December 20th at 21.00 in Palma’s Auditorium (www.simfonica-de-balears.com). Palma’s Municipal Music Band will feature a Santa Lucia concert on December 13th at 19.00 in Plaza Cort. They will also be featuring Christmas Concerts on December 20 – 22nd at 11.30 in the Station Park near Plaza España.
Finally, Marlena Smalls and the Halleujah Choir will be presenting a Gospel Christmas on December 13th in Palma’s Auditorium. Further information: www.jazzvoyeur.com.
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 running 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 Three 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 on the 19th when 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:
FIVE NEW HOTEL OPENINGS IN MALLORCA SPRING – SUMMER 2013 (31st May 13)
GOOD NEWS FOR MALLORCA IN 2012 (09th Feb 12)
THREE KINGS - THE FESTIVITIES CONTINUE! (05th Jan 12)