20 Mar 2019
Fiesta - the word itself evokes the stunning and vibrant celebrations of the Spanish world. Synonymous with partying, fiestas have long been a tradition in Spain, anticipated throughout the year. Mallorca is no exception. Each year, almost every town and village light up with multi-coloured costumes and melodic choruses.
Our Jumeirah Port Sóller Hotel and Spa concierge team, veterans of many of the island’s diverse and historic festivals, know where the best fiestas are and how to celebrate them properly. Here is their guide to Mallorca’s most vivid festivals:
When and Where to Find Them
“Mallorcans love to celebrate, so there are a multitude of festivals throughout the entire year. April and May entertain particularly notable fiestas like the completely one-of-a-kind Es Firó in Sóller, the large regional market-festival Fira d’Andratx in Andratx, and the Easter (Semana Santa) celebrations that happen primarily in the capital Palma, but also across the island.”
“There are also many smaller but still impressive summer festivals from June through August, which are usually village celebrations of their patron saints. The energy levels are high and they are generally brilliant fun to witness.”
For our concierge team, some fiestas are truly unforgettable: “Es Firó has to be one of the most remarkable fiestas because of its sheer uniqueness. Here, an ancient battle from the 16th century is re-enacted on the beaches of Sóller. All dressed in costume, ‘Moorish pirates’ land on the beaches of the Port and fight the ‘Christians’, just as it happened back on that fateful day. Celebrating the pirate’s defeat at the hands of the brave townspeople of Sóller, everyone ends the day’s battle in street parties and bonfires on the sand. It happens in May, with the final battle always taking place on a Monday – this year it is 12th May.
Another front-runner is Sant Joan Festival on the 24th June. “Sant Joan is the Patron saint of a couple of the towns and villages on the island, so it is celebrated in four different towns—with one even named after him. In these towns, the celebrations run for about two weeks with a whole varied portfolio of events, so there’s something to entertain everyone. In Sant Llorenç des Cardassar for example, they perform a particular dance called “the dance of Sant Joan Peut” (John the hairy). It is danced to guitars and piccolo. The highlights of all the Sant Joan festivals are the fire processions – the nit del foc.”
Falling in Love with Mallorcan Fiestas
“Mallorca’s island history has given rise to a completely unique culture. Many of the island’s festivities and festivals are found nowhere else. During the villages’ summer festivals, the energy levels are high, while the high quality synonymous with Mallorcan produce is showcased in every event or market stall showcasing the island’s oranges, almonds, or wine. The events that require dress up are particularly atmospheric, with costumes usually being family heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation.”
“Mallorca’s unique culture is a result of it being an island nation with influences from Moorish occupation, Christian reconquest, as well as Jewish and Catalonian presences. This is what led to its own vibrant culture and fiestas. Of course, the Spanish party like no other, and this little Mediterranean island takes after their motherland with intense spirit. Celebrating its unique history—with pirates occasionally in the mix at Es Firós—produces the crazy fiestas that can be found nowhere else.”
For our concierge team, nothing compares to “being in the action, in the crowds of the enthusiastic people. Sometimes there are street barbeques – you can take along your own food and tongs and cook your own barbeque alongside the Mallorcans who will be celebrating until late in the night.”