Immerse yourself in traditional songs, markets and dishes, as the island is flooded with magic to celebrate Christmas and welcome in The New Year.
The family and ancient customs are the very essence of the Mallorcan Christmas. Christmas markets, local celebrations, visits to nativity scenes and island cuisine make the island the perfect destination for the celebration of this special holiday period. The start of the celebrations each year begins with the turning on of the Christmas lights in Palma, which took place on November 19 this year.
The Christmas markets in Mallorca give people of all ages the chance to taste traditional and local dishes, watch dances and musical performances and take part in different workshops in an atmosphere adorned with Christmas lights and trees.
During the first days of December, the popular fair in the Plaza Mayor of Palma showcases the island’s traditions and culture. Visitors can buy local handicrafts and are dazzled by a large exhibition of nativity scenes.
In Puerto Portals there is also a Christmas market, which stands out for its great gastronomic highlights, here you can taste typical dishes such as "Kartoffelsalat" or "Lebkuchen". The festive spirit is also present in the Christmas Fun Park of Port Adriano, from 22 December to 8 January visitors can even ice skate on the island’s largest ecological ice rink.
The island's gastronomy has even more to offer at this time of year as one of the main pillars of each celebration. At Christmas gatherings in Mallorca you can not miss the typical dishes, such as harty Christmas soup or Christmas Stew “escaldums”, washed down by local wines.
Sweets and nougat are also found at each table, including the tambor d'ametlla, and the coca de torró, nougat cake both based on locally produced almonds and sugar. “Neules, potato cocas or ensaimadas” are other dishes enjoyed during the festivities.
During this period, many convents, churches and cultural centres exhibit their own nativity scenes. A special highlight being the Monumental Bethlehem of the Convent of Caputxines, in Palma and recognised by UNESCO as being of Cultural Interest. The nativity scene of Palau March, is another treasure of the island, dating from the eighteenth century and is composed of more than two thousand pieces made with exquisite attention to detail.
Other Christmas traditions on the island
Declared of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO in 2010, the Cant de la Sibil·la, is one of the most unique traditions and one of the main attractions during the festivities in Mallorca. This medieval song is performed by a woman, a boy or a girl during the Mass of "Gall", on 24 December and commemorates the birth of Jesus while announcing the final judgment.
In Mallorca, 26 December is known as the “Segona Festa de Nadal”, the day of San Esteban, celebrated with both family and friends.
Another great date in the Mallorcan Christmas calendar is 31 December, the Festa de l'Estendard, commemorating the Christian conquest of the city by King Jaume I in 1229.
Finally on the night of 5 January, the city of Palma and the towns of Mallorca welcome the Three Kings of the East, with a great parade through the streets. The parade is accompanied by large floats, troupes of artistics and dancers.
There is so much to choose from for a long weekend, short break or even 2 week holiday.