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Santa Ponsa King James fiesta

Celebrate the Christian reconquest of Mallorca

Looking at Santa Ponsa these days with its tourist hotels, bars, restaurants, shops and a beach brimming with parasols, loungers and scantily clad sunbathers, you'd never know that it played a major role in the history of Mallorca and Spain itself – the 700 year long Christian reconquest of the country.

Mallorca, like the rest of the country was occupied by the Moors for many, many years and though this occupation brought many benefits, the Christian former rulers of the country wanted to reclaim their land, wealth and inheritance. As part of the campaign, King Jaime I landed at Santa Ponsa on September 9th 1229 and subsequently chased off the Moors.

Ever since 1929 the good people of Santa Ponsa have been holding a good old knees up to celebrate the arrival of good King James, bringing with him the precious gifts of the Catalan language, pork sausages, wine and beer, and who knows, a possible ban on the wearing of the burkini on Santa Ponsa beach? (Note – there is no historical evidence for this last speculative piece of reporting)

The most important part of the festivities, which in modern Spanish style last from the 1st until 11th September, is a mock battle depicting the Christian beachhead at Santa Ponsa which features hundreds of citizens in medieval costume (photo) knocking seven bells out of each other with balsa wood swords and saloon chairs!

mock battle in santa ponsa

I've picked out the salient parts of the fiesta programme that will appeal to an international audience but if you'd like the complete programme, a brochure is available in English from the tourist office in the resort.

Sep 02, 20.30 – Crazy Run, a 4km fun run in fancy dress and neon face paints

Sep 03, 19.30 – Presentation of the medieval banner standards to the King

Sep 04, 18.30 – Parade of the dancing giants

Sep 06, 20.30 – Castellers, human castles reaching up to the sky

Sep 06, 22.00 – Correfoc, fire belching demons run amok in the streets

Sep 08, 12.00 – Medieval market each day until midnight (for 4 days)

Sep 09, 20.00 – Moorish troops parade through the resort

Sep 09, 22.30 – Concert by Álvarez d’ Rock, La Movida Band & Without String

Sep 10, 17.30 – Let battle commence, Moors v Christians

Sep 10, 22.30 – Top 40 disco

Sep 11, 19.00 – Holi festival with bright coloured powder and Bollywood music

Sep 11, 22.30 – Fireworks display

Everything happens by the beach or the centre of the resort, just follow everyone else if in doubt. Have a great time if you go!