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The Majorca Carnival (Mallorca Carnival) is one of the island’s most vibrant and colourful annual events. Taking place every February in Palma de Mallorca, it signifies the final celebrations before the 40-day period of Lent in the lead-up to Easter.
With lively parades, flamboyant costumes, street parties, concerts, and more, the carnival brings Mallorca’s capital to life in joyous fashion.
It has its origins in medieval times but retains a distinctly Spanish flair mixed with Mallorcan traditions. Visitors can expect a family-friendly atmosphere and indulge in some of the island’s tasty cuisine between the array of carnival attractions and performances.
With locals and tourists alike joining the festivities across two days of Ruetas (kid’s carnivals) and Ruas (adult’s carnivals), it makes for a memorable winter trip to the Balearic paradise.
Dates and Location
Dates: Typically held on the weekend before Lent begins, with the children’s events on Saturday 11th February 2023 and main parades on Sunday 12th February.
Location: The carnival takes place across central Palma. The parades proceed along La Rambla, Carrer de la Riera, Carrer d’Unió, Plaça del Rei Joan Carles I, and Avinguda de Jaume III. Most street parties occur near the parade routes.
Visitors can soak up the inviting atmosphere as soon as they reach Palma during carnival season. The streets become filled with colour from elaborate costumes and parade floats, with people adorning vivid dresses, masks, and makeup looks.
Upbeat music also resonates everywhere you go, from bands marching down the roads to concerts put on at plazas.
Food stalls line the streets too, with vendors selling Mallorcan delicacies like ensaimadas pastries, greixoneras sandwiches loaded with Sobrassada pork, and ice-cold beers or sangria.
Everyone seems to have a smile on their face as well-wishes are shared along the parade routes and squares amid singing and dancing with friends and families.
The caring spirit also shines through via the extensive effort locals dedicate to preparing months in advance. Hundreds of volunteers work tirelessly on parade floats, building giant models according to that year’s chosen themes. Others meticulously craft costumes by hand, from mermaids and jesters to dragons and superheroes.
- Sa Rueta Children’s Parade
The Saturday festivities revolve around Sa Rueta, the children’s parade event. Starting at 10:30 AM from La Rambla, an array of floats and kid’s groups journey down Carrer de la Unió towards Plaça del Rei Joan Carles I. Young participants usually dress up as popular fictional characters, from Disney princesses to superheroes like Spiderman, throwing small gifts into the delighted crowds.
Mallorcan dance troupes also join in with their choreographed routines alongside bands like I2C Music Academy, who liven spirits with renditions of cheerful songs. Expect to see volunteers walking alongside the floats too, throwing handfuls of candy to further thrill the kids!
- Sa Rua Main Parade
Sa Rua then takes centre stage as the adult version unfolds on Sunday afternoon at 5 PM. The costumes here are especially spectacular, crafted to match the colourful themes depicted on each float. These include jungle animals, masquerade parties, fantastical creatures, and nods to different time periods or locations.
The vibrant atmosphere is ramped up tenfold as well, with hordes of visitors in fancy dress packing out prime spots to watch the floats roll by in a seamless, choreographed manner. Be sure to catch the rhythmic drum bands too like Grup 1700, whose thunderous beats electrify spectators.
- Sample sweet and savoury Mallorcan street food favourites
- Catch a children’s troupe or musical act along the Sa Rueta parade
- Secure a viewpoint early for the Sa Rua parade floats reveal
- Mingle with elaborately dressed locals at a street party
- Join in the dances and songs celebrated at certain plazas post-parades
- Indulge in some sangria or local beer between the day’s events
Although it’s predominantly focused on entertainment, visitors can shop for traditional Mallorcan wares across Palma during the carnival.
In particular, authentic ensaimadas have pop-up stands along the parade routes, where you can buy the iconic pastries dusted with powdered sugar. Handmade masks and costume accessories also make good souvenirs.
Elsewhere, stores like Marqués de la Cenia sell crafted leather sandals. Fans of local ceramics should check spots like Can Rossellon too.
Tips for Visitors
City buses and taxis can transport visitors into the heart of the carnival area. Alternatively, cruise ships dock regularly at the Port of Palma during the carnival period.
Major hotels like Hotel Almudaina are ideally located right by Plaza del Rei Joan Carles I and offer special weekend rates plus comfortable, modern amenities.
- Locals spend months preparing for carnival, so appreciate their incredible efforts
- Note that Sundays observe late lunch hours of 2-5 PM locally
- Avoid costume themes that appropriate sacred religious imagery
- Be mindful of your belongings, as crowded areas bring pickpockets
Tickets are not required for viewing the outdoor carnival events, which all spectators can freely enjoy. The exception would be any private balls or parties. Also, note dress codes do apply at certain venues.
Children under five generally do not need tickets. Kids above 12 are expected to purchase standard tickets depending on the venue or event. Most events are recommended for ages five and above due to large crowds.
A trip to Mallorca during February would not be complete without experiencing the iconic Palma Carnival firsthand, as tourists mingle with locals for Spain’s final island hurrah before Lent.
Revel in the electric atmosphere across parade routes bursting with colour and music, then rest your tired dancing feet sampling delectable Spanish fare under sunny skies – the Majorca Carnival truly has it all as winter escapes go!
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Mark Kaye is a travel writer and content creator living in Majorca, Spain. Originally from the UK, Mark moved to the island and quickly fell in love with Majorcan culture, food, and scenic landscapes. When he’s not busy writing detailed guides about Majorca’s top tourist attractions and hidden local gems, you can find him out exploring coastal trails or wandering the streets of Palma’s Old Town in search of his next great restaurant discovery.