• English
  • Deutsch
  • Español

Gigantic water fight

Thousands soaked to the skin

Way back in Palma's history, about 500 years ago in the 16th century, two rival groups of noble families were involved in a Montague and Capuletesque feud in the city. One group held sway in the high town – Canamunt – and the other in the low town – Canavall.

Their rivalry was intense, often bloody, and on one occasion, exactly 400 years ago resulted in the murder of the Judge, Jaume Joan de Berga in calle de Sant Pere Nolasc. It is this act of violence that has inspired today's modern festival to re-enact the battles between the two areas in a giant water fight as part of the Canamunt y Canavall festival.

Gaining in popularity at an exponential rate the aqua-battle had 3000 participants in 2017, 8000 last year, and who knows how many this year? Hopefully they'll all fit on the Parque del Mar recreation area in front of the cathedral when battles lines are drawn at about 5pm on Sunday 1st September.

Armed only with water pistols and equipped with emergency poncho body armour, the two forces will unleash around 30,000 litres of liquid ammunition at each other courtesy of the four water tankers on hand from the city's water company.

It's a raucous, riotous affair and great fun to be in or just watch. The two groups meet up before the battle; Canamunt, the red team, in the Plaza de Sant Jeroni, and Canavall, in yellow, in the Plaza Drassanes before marching off to the Parque del Mar through the city streets. Lasting about 50 minutes the water fight leaves everyone soaking wet but extremely happy.

Oh, the fun you can have with water when it's hot and sunny! Have a great time if you're going to watch – and don't forget your cagoule.