There’s much more to February than just St. Valentine’s Day! It signals the start of one of the most popular festivities in our country: carnival. Forty days before Maundy Thursday, all over Spain the streets come alive with colour and our festive spirit re-emerges stronger than ever before. And of course, the capital of our island is no exception: this year, after the pandemic we have had to endure, the Palma de Mallorca carnival is determined to rekindle the splendour of previous editions.
Make a note in your diary! Sunday 19 February from 5pm onwards – that’s when the traditional carnival cavalcade, known throughout the island as ‘Sa Rua’, is due to start. Costumes, parades, floats, dancing… ‘Sa Rua’ is an euphoric outpouring of colour, music and magic. A riot of gaiety and good humour, albeit with the occasional touch of criticism, in a veritable sea of masks, sequins and feathers – anyone witnessing this spectacle can’t help but be caught up in the atmosphere.
Whether you enjoy concealing your identity behind a mask and a fancy dress costume or whether you prefer to go unnoticed, this exhibition of creativity and ingenuity is sure to bowl you over.
The route of the Sa Rua 2023 parade
The parade will start at 5pm at the junction between the Rambla and Calle Olmos, in the very heart of Palma, and will end when it ends at the equally central junction between Avenida Jaime III and Paseo Mallorca. The floats with all their entourages will pass along the Rambla, Calle de la Riera, Calle Unión, Plaza Rey Juan Carlos I and Avenida Jaime III.
If you’re staying at the Nivia Born Boutique Hotel, located in the centre of town at 24 Calle Paraires, you simply have no excuse for missing this event – it’s practically on our doorstep! Walk outside and it’s just a hop, skip and a jump away. For example, there’ll be a stage set up in the Plaza Rey Juan Carlos I – just two minutes away – so that the Marítim Party Band can start the festivities off with a bang. If you stay until the end, you will be able to see which of the floats and troupes have won the various awards. This year’s categories include originality, remonstrative nature, craftsmanship and capacity to liven up the public.
It’s carnival time in Palma de Mallorca for the kids as well
Children all over Mallorca have been eagerly awaiting ‘Sa Rueta’ (the children’s carnival). And sure it’s no wonder, as there are all sorts of cultural events organised around the children’s parade on Sunday the 12th of February. Workshops, storytelling, music, circus, popular games, theatre… From 11am to 2pm more than 30 activities have been programmed in six different locations: Plaza Mayor, la Rambla, Calle Unión – Plaza del Mercado, Plaza Rey Juan Carlos I, Avenida Jaime III and Paseo del Born. It’s well worth joining in with this celebration even if it’s only to witness the kids’ infectious excitement or to see the traditional ‘gegants’ and ‘capgrossos’ (carnival giants and figures with enormous heads) and the ‘Drac de na Coca’ dragon.