Easter in Mallorca is a somewhat sombre and serious affair. It all starts with Lent, right after the craziness of carnival is cleared up. The first day of the seven weeks of restriction is marked with the chopping down of the St Antoni pine (a whole other story).
The poster-girl and legend of Lent, La Jaia Corema watches over the children and one of her seven legs is cut off as each week passes. On Easter Saturday she is taken down from the wall she's been hung on and cut in two. And the children tuck into their sweets.
Rewind to the weekend before, and the Diumenge del Ram (Palm Sunday to you and me) is the first Easter event to witness. Palms are made into fantastic shapes and sizes and hung on front doors and balconies. A Palmerero will prepare the palm leaves well in advance to grow them in the characteristic white colour. Made by hand, the decorations range from simple plaited designs that children can make, or more elaborate ornaments that can take three days to produce. On the morning of Diumenge de Rams, after the blessing of the Palm, the priest and children of the church form a parade, palm in hand, and walk from the Monti-Sion church to the main church in the square.
On the evening of Dijous Sant (Maundy Thursday) the Last Supper, the Betrayal of Jesus and other scenes from the Easter story are depicted in the streets and plazas of Pollensa. A parade of townsfolk, in all their penitents garb, leads Jesus to witness these scenes as he drags the cross over his shoulder. Known as the Processó de la Sang (Procession of the Blood of Christ) it is all very sombre and well worth coming out to see. But this is not the main Easter event in Pollensa, the Good Friday procession is what puts this little town on Mallorca's fiesta map.
Known as the Davallament, the hooded confrarias (brotherhoods from various parts of the town), move slowly down the famous Calvari Steps. The scene, in silence except the eerie beating of a drum, with a sea of torches and pointed hoods against the night sky while the Calvari chapel peers down from the top of the hill, is a spine-tingling affair. Whether you're a believer or not, this display of Easter is a sight to behold. For the full impact, make your way up the Calvari steps, half way up is perfect, and make sure you have your spot before they leave from the top. Get your camera ready, this is a photographer's dream.
Come Sunday morning, the market in Pollensa becomes a secondary distraction as the Procesión del Santo Encuentro culminates in the main square and the image of Jesus meets the image of his mother. The joy of the event is followed by a quick and perhaps surprising spectacle of gunfire. Rounds shift in turn between different rooftops, once it's over those inclined head to church for the solemn Mass.
Easter is all tied up on the Monday or Tuesday with a mini-pilgrimage to out of the way refugis. In Alcudia the 'Pancaritat al Santuario de la Victoria' is held every year and those that joined the pilgrimage can enjoy a paella at the top. This is the same in Pollensa when, after walking up the Puig de Maria, everyone comes together for a giant Paella.
Diumenge del Ram: Solemn Mass and procession starts at 11.45am
Dijous Sant: Processó de la Sang starts at 9.15pm. The Quadres de Passió are set up in the Plaza Major, Sant Jordi, the stations of the cross on the Calvari, the St Isidre fountain and at the Convent.
Davallament: the descent begins around 9pm. Make sure you're in situ before then. It gets crowded all of a sudden.
Where to Stay
For a selection of properties walking distance to the events, see our townhouses in Pollença. Click here.