Floral fantasy floats
Please keep your seat-belts fastened as the Christmas celebrations here in Mallorca have one last fling before we can touchdown into January proper. It's Epiphany, the 12th Day of Christmas when the baby Jesus was visited by the three wise men or kings bearing gifts.
Back in the year zero Gaspar, Melchor and Baltasar arrived pretty well unannounced on a camel each save for the presence of a yonder star and an angel. These days there's a bit more fuss made of their royal visit when throngs of people take part in cavalcades depicting the kings' search for a lowly stable and thousands turn out to watch.
Mallorca's biggest and best parade takes place in Palma where €250 grand has been spent on a spectacular of music, dance, noise, ermin, fur, floats and tons of sweets. Starting at 18:00 on Friday 5th January, their majesties will disembark from the good ship Rafael Verdera, a classic sailing Falucho dating back to 1841 at the Moll Vell jetty.
There they join the big parade of 13 floats all decorated in a floral fantasy theme and are accompanied by 16 carnival troupes of dancers, musicians, drummers, big heads and in addition 3 royal courts of pages and servants. It's a riotous occasion, made even more so by over 5000 kilos of sweets being thrown out to the crowds that line the route.
As you can see from the map, the 500 person strong cavalcade takes in the main streets of Palma , where around 3 kilometres of barriers have been installed for safety reasons and should arrive in the Paseo del Borne at around 20:30.
Even if you're all grown up, it's great fun and worth going just to see how many sweets you can fit in your big pockets! There are parades in almost every town or village in Mallorca if you can't make it to Palma. Try to get to one if you're on holiday at the moment.