CARNIVAL season is fast approaching and finishing touches are being put to costumes and floats in anticipation of the biggest and most colourful parties on the island.
Akin to New Orleans’ Mardi Gras festivities, towns all across Mallorca will soon be filled with flamboyant costumes, elaborate floats and happy revellers indulging in one last big ceremonious fling of eating, drinking, dancing and music before Lent.
In Spain, a traditionally Catholic country, carnival is traditionally celebrated around Shrove Tuesday and before the 40 days of Lent as a way to let off steam and lose inhibitions for a while before the strict religious holiday prohibitions come into force.
Many people in Spain had to pack up their costumes and forget about the carnival celebrations between 1937 and 1977 due to the strict regime in place in Franco’s time, but they have certainly made up for it since democracy arrived in 1978.
Most towns hold some sort of parade with dancing and a carnival queen contest, with larger and more enthusiastic places adding song contests, drag queen competitions, fancy dress events and, of course, fireworks.
Palma, being the largest city on the island, has the largest party and this year’s celebrations kick off on Saturday, February 14, with the Sa Rua and Sa Rueta parades over two days. Colour, parties, processions and fancy dress make this year’s carnival celebrations not to be missed.