Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category

How the Spanish do Christmas

Posted on: December 2nd, 2015 by admin No Comments

Christmas Beach

Christmas in Spain takes place over a much longer period than in other countries. Heavily rooted in religious influence, the Christmas period, or ‘Pascuas’, ranges from December 24th to the 6th of January with Christian celebrations throughout.

December 24th is celebrated with a great family feast, usually a turkey stuffed with wild truffles, followed by the midnight mass service known as the ‘Misa del Gallo’. This Mass of the Rooster refers to the crowing of a rooster at the moment of Christ’s birth, and is followed by a triumphant musical parade through the streets accompanied by carols and traditional instruments, and a return to home.

Santa Claus has gained popularity as the main gift-giver for Christmas, but more local figures are still celebrated. In the mountainous Basque region, ‘Olentzero’ is a coal merchant who descends to leave presents for the good children, and coal for the naughty, while ‘Tio de Nadal’ performs a similar function in Catalonia and Aragon. Spain being such a large and culture-rich country, local differences abound.

After a slight lull, December 28th is celebrated as the ‘Dia de los Santos Inocentes’ (Day of the Innocent Saints), a day similar in style to April Fool’s Day. People attempt to trick each other with silly stories and jokes, with believers named as innocents. This day is inspired by the story of King Herod’s attempts to murder the infant Jesus.

The twelfth night of Christmas on January the 6th is a celebration that rivals Christmas Day in terms of extravagance. Epiphany or the ‘Fiesta de Los tres Reyes Mages’ (Festival of the three Magic Kings) celebrates the night when the famous three Kings brought presents to the baby Jesus. This is the main time for gift-giving, and on January 5th, children will leave drinks and food for the Kings in hopes of receiving a good haul in the morning. Each King has his own appearance and custom and will be shown on numerous parades across Spain on floats, riding their traditional camels. A special cake known as a Roscon will also usually be eaten on Epiphany morning, a ring-shaped roll containing sweet fillings and little gifts.

Easter Cuisine in Majorca

Posted on: April 21st, 2014 by admin No Comments

Easter Cuisine

During Holy Week, the people of Majorca prepare delightful Easter cuisine to celebrate the holiday.

Bakeries will compete to display the most spectacular ‘Mona de Pascua'; chocolate sculptures which can take many forms, from eggs to rabbits.

Families will also get together, preparing traditional dishes of Panades, Cocarrois and Robiols. Panades is a kind of edible pie-shaped basket, made with flour, and filled with lamb meat. A cocarrois is like a Cornish pasty filled with Swiss Chard or garlic. Robiols are a sweet food; crescent moon shaped pastries filled with marmalade or curd cheese.

All these pieces of easter cuisine are available to buy in bakeries as they are very popular during the Easter season, but many people prefer the communal spirit of cooking with friends and families.

Mallorca festivals guide for 2013

Posted on: May 17th, 2013 by admin No Comments

Mallorca festivals guide 2013

Festival season is just around the corner, and there is certainly no shortage of things to keep you entertained in Mallorca this year. Whatever your passions and interests, be it music, film, arts, food or culture, you will find something you love amongst this jam packed calendar of events that runs till the end of the year. These are just some of the highlights –

Mallorca festivals

Nit de Foc, Palma region – 23 June

Nit de Foc, one of the biggest parties Mallorca has to offer, is a huge celebration which takes place on the eve of Barcelona’s famous Sant Joan fiesta and consists largely of buzzing street parties, fireworks, music performances and bonfires that run into the early hours of the morning. A must see, even if you don’t want to join the party, it is all happening in Palma de Mallorca on the 23rd June, with the best of the celebrations kicking off around 10pm after dark.

Sant Joan Fiesta – 24 June

Sant Joan Fiesta, the Night of San Juan, is a very popular and traditional festival with ancient origins. It celebrates John the Baptist, playing homage to his life and legacy, with exciting events taking place throughout Mallorca. John The Baptist is highly regarded throughout Spain and particularly in Mallorca, as can be seen in the many streets, cafes and buildings named after him.

Wine Fair, Binissalem – 28 & 29 September

One for the wine lovers out there, the Binissalem Wine Fair takes place every year and is always an event to remember. A far cry from the traditional, civilised picture of wine festivals you may have in your head, this harvest festival event is a real celebration. Amongst the highlights are grape crushing competitions, parades and, of course, wine tasting itself.

Muro Pumpkin Fair – 10 November

The annual Muro Pumpkin Fair is, as the title suggests, a festival dedicated to the pumpkin. A popular tradition in Mallora, the fair showcases an array of pumpkins, with fun events for all the family running throughout the day. The main attraction is the pumpkin contest, a competition in which growers battle it out to see who has the largest and heaviest pumpkin, a rare and extraordinary sight.

Christmas Markets – All through December

Experiencing Christmas in Mallorca is a real treat, and the various Christmas fairs, markets and events throughout Palma and the surrounding areas must not be missed. The markets usually take place on the weekends, though this varies.