The island of Mallorca offers traditional and contemporary festivals all year round. From open-air concerts to local festivities rich in culture and heritage you will always find something to do.
Revetlla and beneïdes de Sant Antoni (St. Anthony’s Eve and blessing):
In some villages, on the evening before January 17, many big bonfires are lit in memory of Saint Anthony. On January 17, in many localities, pets are blessed and float parades take place.
Festes de Sant Sebastià (St. Sebastian’s Festival):
Palma’s patron saint is St Sebastian and celebrations begin in the city on January 12; on January 20 it is officially St. Sebastian. It is important to mention the street bonfires, where people grill sobrassada and ‘botifarron’ sausages. On the night of January 19, Palma’s main squares are filled with music, with different genres of bands and DJs performing to the crowds who enjoy the free entertainment. Meanwhile, in Pollença, the parade of Els Cavallets is on January 20.
Sa Rua Carnival and Parties
As every year, the streets of Mallorca become one huge conglomeration of carnivals, parties, parades, and great fun with the traditional public celebrations of Sa Rua – the carnival before Lent begins.
In 2017 the main parade in Palma is on Saturday, February 25; the children’s parade (Sa Rueta) is on the morning of Sunday February 26.
The main parade in Palma will follow the following route: La Rambla, Carrer de la Riera, Carrer Unió, Plaça Joan Carles I (Plaza de las Tortugas), Av. Jaume III and Passeig Mallorca. Starting at 17.00 and ending at 20.30 hours on Saturday.
Holy Week and Pancaritats:
Penitent processions across Mallorca. People bake and eat ‘panades’, ‘robiols’ and ‘crespells’. The week after Easter, the ‘pan caritas’ (picnics held outside the village) take place in sanctuaries and hermitages across Mallorca. On the first Sunday after Easter, people celebrate the ‘Diumenge de l’Àngel’ (Angel Day) at the Bellver Castle.
Festes del Rei en Jaume:
These fun-packed fiestas during the first two weeks of September mark the landing of Jaime I at Santa Ponça 783 years ago and the beginning of the reconquest of the island from the Moors. There’s a varied programme of cultural, traditional and leisure events, including a parade of giants, ‘nit de foc’ (night of fire), and the loud and lively Moors and Christians’ battle re-enactment.
Festa des Vermar or Grape Harvest Festival:
Binissalem becomes a party zone for a fortnight at the end of the harvesting of the grapes in the second half of September. The ‘Festa des Vermar’ attracts people from all over the island and beyond for events such as wine tastings, grape-treading, grape-throwing competitions, carnival-type processions, and the outdoor supper at which ‘Fideus de Vermar’, a traditional noodle dish, is served. Expect a fun atmosphere and, if you’re going anywhere near the grape-throwing, beware of splatter.
La Dansa dels Cossiers:
Traditional dance group, the dances of which are the oldest ones in Mallorca. Some of them are still preserved in villages such as Algaida and Alaró. The group consists of 6 males and one lady, who are accompanied by the Devil. They dance to the rhythm of the melodies played by the pipe and the shawm players. (15/01, and 16/01 in Algaida; 23 and 24/08 in Montuïri; 16/08 in Alaró; 02/08 in Pollença).
Corpus Christi (June):
This is the last spring festivity. It was created in 1316 and is held to commemorate the Eucharist. In Pollença it is accompanied by the ‘Ball de les Àguiles’ (Eagle Dance) as well as by the ritual dance of Sant Joan Pelós.
To celebrate the patron saint’s day, all towns hold their summer festivals. They are an exciting experience, as they include: games, live music, night festivals, processions, traditions…
Batalles de moros i cristianos (Moors and Christians battle):
In Port de Pollença people commemorate the Arab pirate invasion that took place centuries ago, as well as the battle and the victory of the Mallorcans over their invaders. It turns into a big festival and celebration on August 2.
Processó de la Beata (Blessed Catalina Tomàs’ procession) (September):
This procession takes place on the first Sunday in September in the village of Santa Margalida. The Blessed leads the procession followed by the authorities, shawm players, peasants, devils (‘dimonis’) and 12 floats that reproduce the most important episodes of Catalina Tomàs’s life.
Dijous Bo, Inca
On this festive day, you can easily find 200,000 people in Inca’s streets. While Dijous Bo used to be an important cattle market, it has now turned into a lively fun fair that has something on offer for everyone. Diverse stands offer arts and crafts, leather goods and Mallorcan produce. In addition, there are fun rides and many other attractions. Dijous Bo takes place on the second Thursday in November.
Feria del Aceite (Olive Oil Fair):
In late November (18 and 19 in 2017) the Olive Oil fair takes place in the tranquil town of Caimari. You can experience the traditional methods of pressing the olives and how the oil is produced. In the streets, you can sample and buy typical Mallorcan products, learn how olives are harvested and listen to popular songs describing the work in the fields.
Ses Salines, la Festa de’s Cavall:
On August 28, the village of Ses Salines celebrates the Festa de’s Cavall as a tribute to the Menorcan ‘jaleo’. Over 3000 people gather to enjoy the celebration at the Plaza de Sant Bartomeu. After the horses traditional games, the wine-drinking, singing and dancing starts and goes on until the sun rises again.
The calendar for public holidays in Mallorca in 2017 is as follows:
- January 1: New Year
- January 6: Epiphany
- January 20: San Sebastian (Palma)
- March 1: Balearic Islands’ Day
- April 13: Maundy Thursday
- April 14: Good Friday
- April 17: Easter Monday
- May 1: Labour Day
- August 15: Assumption of Mary
- October 17: Hispanic Day
- November 1: All Saints’ Day
- December 6: Constitution Day
- December 8: Immaculate Conception
- December 25: Christmas Day