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We are Mallorcans

28/08/2020

We’re Mallorcans! Would you like to discover our traditions and customs?

 

Mallorca is a fascinating island in terms of both its history and its natural beauty. It is famous the world over for its beaches with their turquoise waters, and the treasure trove of nature it offers. A paradise inhabited not only by the many thousands of tourists who visit us every year, but also by Mallorcans – those of us who actually come from the island. How would you like to get to know us a little better, and find out about the kind of people we are, our customs and traditions? You would? Well allow us to introduce ourselves!

 

We are a generous and merry people, just like the beautiful nature around us

 

Some say that we have a somewhat reserved personality, like all islanders. And although that may be the first impression you gain, in fact nothing could be further from the truth! We Mallorcans love socialising outdoors, stopping to chat with our neighbours about this and that, listening to music in the village square, meeting up with our friends for a drink and tapas at any time of the day or night...

 

The thing is, we are straightforward people; we have always had the soul of country folk. Which is why we don’t like people who put on airs and graces or try to impress us: that’s just not who we are! If you look carefully, our way of understanding life is marked by this simplicity: the architecture of the houses we live in, the traditional markets we shop in, the uncomplicated clothes we wear, the little bars we go to for coffee or an aperitif...

 

It is true that, precisely because of this simple nature of ours, we find it difficult to talk about ourselves initially (not because we are especially reserved - rather out of modesty). But that said, once we are familiar with the person we are talking to, we can be the most expansive, extroverted and fun-loving of people. And above all, very generous.

 

 

Generosity is probably the characteristic that defines us more than any other. Friends often argue in restaurants here, because people are always insisting on picking up the tab for each other! And if you are looking for somewhere while you are on holiday and you come and ask us to help you find it, we will go out of our way to do so, and even take you to the place in question so you don’t get lost, if necessary!

 

We are passionate about the sea and foravila

 

 

Our deep connection to the sea that surrounds us, to foravila (the countryside, in the Mallorcan language) and farming folk permeate the Mallorcan character. We adore going on boat rides, swimming, diving, sailing, fishing...

Most of us have our own vegetable garden, or relatives with a piece of land they till who supply us with top-quality vegetables which we use to prepare our favourite dishes.

And when the heat eases off, in autumn and spring, we love going up into the mountains, on walks with family and friends. The views from the mountaintops are indescribable. You have to experience it yourself.

 

We love our traditions, our gastronomy and our language

 

We love to party! And we party big. From foguerons (bonfires) and beneïdes (blessings) in honour of Sant Antoni or Sant Sebastià, to the popular fiestas held in every village, some of them ancient, like El Ball des Cossiers in Montuiri and Manacor, El Ball dels Cavallets, in Felanitx, or the festival of La Beata, in Santa Margalida.

 

And the classic matances, or pig slaughter, a family gastronomy festival where everyone is supplied with sobrasada and pork products to last the whole year. On the day of the slaughter, breakfast, lunch and dinner are comprised of dishes exclusive to this celebration - things we eat on that day alone, and not for the rest of the year.

On your next visit to Mallorca, you should try some of the delicious treats from our varied, exquisite repertoire of Mediterranean cuisine, like ensaïmada, vegetable coca, trampó, arròs brut, tumbet, stuffed aubergines, panades, cocarrois or almond ice cream with gató, among others.

 

We also speak our own language – Mallorcan Catalan – which we are very proud of, and hope to protect so that our grandchildren can express their feelings, emotions and sensations in it. The language is derived from Latin, and has a musicality in harmony with the landscape we inhabit. Try and learn a few of our words and expressions with us: bon dia, bon vespre, bona nit, bon profit, avui, demà, puput, oblada, cranc, mel.lera, figa, capfico… And the familiar Uep! com anam? (Hey! How are you?).

 

For us, there is no other place like Mallorca

 

The fact that we live on an island, a piece of land delimited and surrounded by the vastness of the sea, has made us more than ordinarily attached to our land. We Mallorcans feel that there is no other place in the world quite like Mallorca. We have everything we need to be happy here: beaches, mountains, a pleasant climate all year round, exquisite gastronomy, beautiful, ancient villages, popular markets, culture, history and the time we need to live life at our own pace: calmly, unhurriedly, savouring every single moment and every single place.

 

If you want to discover all of these curiosities that are so peculiar to us, the best thing you can do is come and meet us. Stay with us at one of the Inturotel hotels on Mallorca – we will welcome you with open arms! And we will be absolutely delighted to help you plan your trips all over the island.

 

Blog

Live the spirit of Christmas in Mallorca
15/12/2021
Live the spirit of Christmas in Mallorca
In our villages (as in many places across Europe) the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season is upon us. The lights are lit, Nativity scenes are being finished off, choirs are rehearsing their carols, bakeries are preparing the traditional cocas and turrones, and you can sense the children’s excitement… Christmas in Mallorca means celebrating with family and friends and enjoying the little things in life like our traditional food, long conversations at the table after eating, lovely walks in the countryside, relaxing by the crackling fire, getting the house ready for receiving guests and sharing gifts, giving happiness, love, companionship, smiles, serenity… in other words, good times that will become memories to be treasured forever. We want to share with you some of our favourite traditions from this time of year.      A Legendary Nativity Scene The Nativity scene, manger scene or crib has its origins in the Middle Ages. The first Christmas celebration where there was a Nativity scene took place on Christmas Eve in 1223, when Saint Francis of Assisi decided to recreate Jesus’s birth in a cave near the hermitage at Greccio (Italy).     Mallorca is home to the oldest Nativity scene in Spain. The beautiful crib scene dates from 1480 and has been attributed to the Neapolitan sculptors, Pietro and Giovanni Alamanno. At the time Naples was the birthplace of this craft. The cities of Palma and Naples share a common history that goes back to the thirteenth century, which is when the story of this ancient Nativity scene began.   Its Gothic sculptures are from a period in which cribs were only depicted in the form of paintings or altarpieces. It consists of 15 original pieces: Saint Joseph, the Virgin Mary, the sheep, the dogs and a pair formed by the ox and donkey. The remaining pieces were added in later periods.      There is an aura of legend around the arrival of the Nativity scene on the island. Hanging next to the chapel where the Nativity is now displayed there is a painting, now almost blackened with time, but which at one time depicted a boat, which serves as a clue. The chronicler, Francisco Bordoy, describes how in 1536 Captain Domingo Gangome was lost with his ship in the middle of a great storm opposite the Bay of Palma. In his desperation, he promised God that he would give one of the seven Nativity scenes that he was carrying on board to whomever helped him reached land. Just then he saw a small light twinkling in the darkness. It came from the monastery of Our Lady of the Angels of Jesus.     This celestial lighthouse meant he was able to guide his ship to shore. To show his gratitude he donated one of the sets to the monastery, unaware that it was the most valuable of all the Nativity scenes that he was transporting. This is how it ended up in a modest church in Palma de Mallorca. More than two centuries ago it was moved to La Sang Church, where it is on display all year round.     Some other Nativity scenes that are also worth a visit in Palma are Cort, Ses Caputxines, Palau March, Centre Social Sa Nostra…     Not as old but of exceptional quality because their originality and the amount of work that goes into them are the Nativity scenes in the town of Felanitx, which is very near our Inturotel hotels. You can start at the one by the Casa de Cultura (created by the craftsperson who won last year’s prize for the best Nativity scene), and there you can collect a map that shows the location of the different Nativity scenes that you can visit. Don’t miss a trip to the parish church of San Miguel, in the daylight the pinkish colours and intricate stone carving of its façade are extremely beautiful.   La nit de Nadal (Christmas Eve) Christmas Eve is a magical night that the whole island experiences with emotion. It is a night when we join with family around the table, after participating in the sumptuousness of a festivity whose origins have been lost in time. This is the celebration of the liturgy of Matines (Mallorcan Midnight Mass or Matutinum in Latin) which was once celebrated at midnight and originally before the dawn (at 6am).     Although not all those attending this religious service are believers, many are drawn by a very special performance, the Song of the Sibyl. These days it is usually sung by a woman dressed in a beautiful gown, holding aloft a magnificent sword, but originally it could only be sung by the clergy or children.   The Sibyl was a prophetess from classical mythology who foresaw the end of the world. She was introduced into and adapted to Christianity thanks to the simple analogy between her prophecy and the idea of the Last Judgement in the Bible. The Song of the Sibyl is a liturgical drama with a Gregorian melody that spread widely throughout southern Europe during the Middle Ages. The first documentation about the Song of the Sibyl in the Cathedral of Mallorca dates from 1360-1363. The oldest version with music and lyrics written in Mallorcan is in a choirbook of a fifteenth-century convent.   Mallorca and Alguero (in Sardinia) are the only two places in the world where the song has survived as a tradition stretching from the late Middles Ages to the present. UNESCO placed it on the list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on 16 November 2010.   If you have the chance to visit Mallorca at Christmas, we recommend you check the different times of Matines in the churches of Felanitx. A particularly special service because of the ancient music that is played live is held in the Church of Sant Alfons.   After the spiritual and/or musical enjoyment, a lovely family dinner awaits, rounded off with a delicious hot chocolate with a coca de Nadal. Scrumptious!     If you would like to discover more about how we celebrate Christmas in Mallorca you can stay at one of our Esmeralda Villas FREESTYLE by Inturotel, now open all year round and which offer complete comfort by the sea, the Mallorcan sun and all the peace and quiet you deserve.   Let’s make these Christmas holidays a reason to take it more slowly, be more mindful and think about what makes us happy… we’ll probably find the answer is making other people happy.     Bon Nadal i Bones Festes! ¡Feliz Navidad y Felices Fiestas! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!          
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