Christmas in Mallorca

Christmas turrones MallorcaAs we are posting lots of information about how our guided walking tours and tailor made holidays are not just a great escape but good for your health and fitness, we do not feel too guilty about telling you about all the great traditional Christmas treats you can find in Mallorca.

The month of December features all the Christmas fayres with hundreds of little stalls set up for the many shops and hand made gifts on sale. The Plaza Mayor and Plaza España in Palma city centre are always a great place to visit.

Another Christmas tradition (and only for sale throughout Spain in December) is Turrones – chocolate, marzipan and mousse style bars, sweets, candies and thousands of different varieties. From the 1st of December shops start clearing the shelves surrounding their tills to fill them ceiling-high with Turron – who knows where they go in January!

Carol singing is also very popular in Mallorca and the place to find these singing spectaculars are La Lonja and the Plaza Cort, again in Palma centre. The tradition here is for local schools to bring along their choirs, of all ages, to serenade the crowds that gather to listen. This really sets the Christmas mood!

Traditional Christmas decorations MallorcaThe Belen or Nativity scenes are prolific throughout Mallorca with many church halls, interior patios, shop windows and schools displaying impressive scenes depicting the birth of Jesus and the arrival of the three wise men. Palma’s Town Hall at the Plaza Cort has a particularly impressive Nativity scene, and has a queue of people waiting to see it, snaking in and out of the building right through to January.

As the main Christmas celebrations in Spain were traditionally for the arrival of the Three Kings on the 5th of January – the children in Spain are now really happy that the internet and commercial pressures have given them Papa Noel, or Father Christmas on the 25th of December as well. In reality though, nowadays their presents are probably just divided between the 25th of December and 5th of January. However, on the 5th of January there is an added bonus when thousands of sweets are thrown to the children on over-crowded streets,  straining to see the processions working their way from the port of Palma where the Kings arrive, to their destination in the centre of the city.

On the 24th of December, Christmas Eve, everyone stays at home and enjoys the evening with close family. Some go out for a late night drink while many others go to the magnificent cathedral (or their own village’s church) for Midnight Mass, also known in Spain as the Misa del Gallo.

The 25th, Christmas day, a big lunch at home used to be the norm, but eating out is also very popular now, so we recommend booking early if you’re planning to go to a restaurant.

While December the 26th is a normal day throughout Spain, this is not the case in Mallorca – here the Segona Festa de Nadal (Second Christmas day) will be in full swing. This is an ancient local custom, and as in the UK, it is a bank holiday.

December the 28th is the Spanish equivalent of April Fools day, so be on your guard for crazy newspaper articles or practical jokes.

New Year’s Eve is celebrated in much the same way as in other countries – by welcoming in the New Year.  Plaza Cort (Palma Town Hall) is the centre of the festivities with thousands gathering to see in the New Year in traditional Spanish style – by eating twelve grapes, one on every chime of midnight. You can even buy tins of grapes that contain the exact number required for your midnight munch!

The Christmas lights and various festivities carry on until Three Kings is celebrated on the 5th of January, and after that the shops start their New Year’s sales bonanzas, or rebajas.

So, there’s lots to do and see over the prolonged festivities if you’re visiting Mallorca. If you hanker after a white Christmas you can usually find it on the hilltops and the mountains around Lluc and the rest of the Tramuntana – so there’s something for everybody on our Christmas island.

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