It's Carnaval time all over Mallorca
Mardi Gras, Carnival, Carnaval; call it what you will, but all over the world we celebrate the start of Lent, a period of fasting and abstinence, with one last blow out where we eat, drink and be merry. Here in Mallorca, Carnaval (its name comes from the Latin meaning farewell to meat), celebrations start at the weekend this year and continue into next week depending on the location.
Each town and village pulls out all the stops to dress up, parade, and generally have a good time with those watching the parades taking almost as much part as those involved! Naturally the biggest of all the celebrations takes place in Palma where last year thousands of people were in the procession made up of almost 50 organised groups and over 20 trucks disguised as parade floats!
The processions are composed of neighbourhood groups, schools, colleges and organisations representing the different nationalities on the island who dress up to have fun, poke fun at the politicians or island institutions, and satirise the world today. They prepare for weeks in advance, making their costumes and perfecting music and dance routines to make the parade a noisy, colourful, raucous affair with tons of confetti filling the air and the streets.
Palma has two processions; the Rueta, a special mini parade for kids on Sunday 7th February at 10:30 and the Rua, the big parade later that day at 17:00. The parade winds its singing, dancing way slowly – it can take up to an hour to pass one point – around the main streets of the town centre (just look out for the barriers marking the route) finishing off in the plaza at the top of the Paseo del Borne.
As if any more encouragement were needed to make it a great day, the council awards prizes in lots of categories to the best fancy dress, float, theme and so on. If you're around in Mallorca next week, try to get to one of the parades, they're great fun for all.