1 ROSE WINDOW OF PALMA CATHEDRAL – THE SHOW AT EIGHT
This magical phenomenon only happens twice a year and on two symbolic dates: on the second day of the second month, the festival of Our Lady of Candelaria, and on the eleventh of the eleventh month, Saint Martin’s Day. A unique light spectacle takes place in La Seu Cathedral on these two days from eight o’clock in the morning.
The light from the rising sun shines through the largest rose window causing its reflection to appear on the opposite wall just below the other rose window on the main facade. For a short time, one is reflected on the other forming a double rose window, one of glass and the other of light.
2 SAN SEBASTIÁN FIESTAS, PALMA DE MALLORCA
The city of Palma has celebrated festivities for its patron saint, San Sebastian, around 20 January since the 17th century. The programme of events usually begins on the previous Saturday with street entertainment and the festival’s opening speech.
On 20 January, the day of San Sebastian, the solemn mass of San Sebastian is held in the Cathedral in the morning, the Cyclist Day takes place at midday and the ceremony for the City of Palma Awards is celebrated in the evening.
The festival programme includes many other activities, such as the Atiarfoc musical firework show, concerts and theatre performances, exhibitions, a photographic marathon and the traditional procession of Beneïdes de Sant Antoni.
3 THE NIT DE L’ART (Night of Art)
Palma holds the most important art event on the island at the end of September or thereabouts. Thousands of visitors and residents pour onto the streets to visit galleries and museums, which offer all kinds of events and exhibition openings. The evening affords a myriad of possibilities as all kinds of artistic events are happening in every corner of the city. It’s the night when the galleries, museums and art studios start exhibitions and keep their doors open to midnight.
4 SÓLLER MOORS AND CHRISTIANS FESTIVAL
The Moors and Christians Festival of Sóller in the north-west of the island commemorates the 1561 event when the local population was attacked by Turkish and Algerian pirates. Known as Es Firó, it takes place on the Monday after the second Sunday in May and it is one of the most long-standing festivals in the local calendar. The participants, most of them young people from the town wearing highly ornamental costumes, are divided into two sides—the Moors and the Christians— to re-enact the battle that ended with a Christian victory.
5 ALCÚDIA AND POLLENTIA ROMAN FESTIVAL
By organising the Roman festival in memory of its past as an ancient city of the Roman Empire and capital of the Balearic Islands, the Town Council of Alcúdia returns POLLENTIA to its splendour after 2000 years. The City Council organises several events, theatre performances and fairs. Don’t miss this festival, which takes place in July, and relive the Roman legacy of the 1st to 3rd centuries.
6 REI JAUME FIESTAS, SANTA PONÇA
The ‘Festes del rei En Jaume de Calvià’ begin in around the first week of September. These festivities commemorate the troops of King James I disembarking in Santa Ponça. The best events (all of them overlooking the sea in the Plaza de la Pinada square) are concerts, Correfocs (devils with fireworks), children’s workshops and entertainment, theatre and historical tours, comedy, fiesta and sport alongside the traditional medieval market.
But the most important is the procession of Moors and Christians. The troops of King James I disembarked at the Santa Ponça Cross and then marched together with the Saracen Indians and prepared for the final Moors and Christians battle, which took place on Santa Ponça beach.
7 CHRISTMAS IN PALMA AND THREE WISE MEN PARADE
The streets of downtown Palma abound with beautiful Christmas illuminations. The Christmas lights illuminate a total of 92 streets and squares, with an installation of 250 kilometers of garland lines and 6,000 light modules.
In Mallorca there are more and more places that add to the tradition of Christmas markets and we find Christmas markets of very different environments, from the most native to the most international, which reflect the confluence of cultures on the island. There are different types of artisan products, gifts, Christmas sweets, roasted chestnuts.
Undoubtedly the most important event is the Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos that takes place on January 5 in the afternoon, inspired by the fantasy world, has about 13 floats, 16 comparsas and three royal courtships that deliver more than five tons of candies. The Magi arrive by sea at Moll Vell, aboard the vintage ship Rafael Verdera.
8 BELLS IN PLAZA DE CORT AND PASEO DEL BORNE
New Year’s Eve in Palma is extremely lively and hugely popular. In Plaza Cort (the City Hall of Palma) there is a show before midnight, followed by the eating of 12 grapes to the sound of the bells from the clock of En Figuera and then partying until 1.00 or 1.30 in the morning. The clock of En Figuera is broadcast on the Paseo del Borne so that the bells can be heard. Afterwards the show begins with fireworks, a concert and a DJ.