MONDAY September 12 is Mallorca Day when the island and the wider Balearics celebrate the landing of Catalan troops on the island almost 800 years ago in 1229.
Although not a national holiday, the day is feverishly celebrated by Mallorcan patriots and regular fiesta-lovers across the island and also remembers the pledge made by King Jaume II in 1276 to provide citizens with a bill of rights.
Music and processions will be the order of the day, days in fact as the festivities will begin in Palma over the weekend.
In commemoration of the landings of the Christian knights, and the bill of rights, the Consell de Mallorca has established an annual award ceremony in which they pay tribute to some of the island’s most prominent historic figures.
Known as the Jaume II awards, this year two of the most significant accolades were given to two writers from very different eras.
Philosopher and logician Ramon Llull, who is believed to have written the first major piece of truly Catalan literature in the 13th century was named Mallorca’s favourite son.
Nobel prize winning novelist, civil war veteran and Vatican nemesis Camilo Jose Cela Trulock wasn’t a Mallorcan native but was nevertheless named the island’s adopted son for his fiery contributions to Spanish literature and identity.
An incredible variety of writers, painters, artists, scholars, activists, and sports stars are also among those honoured in this year’s awards as Mallorca uses its national day to pay tribute to the people who have made the island great over the course of its long history.
Politics has of course played its part in this year’s celebrations with the conservative Partido Popular falling out with the Socialist-led Balearic government over claims that Mallorca Day is being subtly linked to Catalonian independence platforms.