The holidays are a magnificent occasion to disconnect from daily routine and have a good time, but in a world which is affected more and more by globalization, conserving traditions is very important. Through preserving our traditions, we help to educate the next generation, new arrivals to the town and visiting tourists, about the customs of our people.
►"La Mare de Déu del Carme" (the Virigin Carmen)
As expected of a town discovered by fishermen, the patron saint of Porto Cristo is the "Mare de Déu de Carmen". During one week, we celebrate numerous activities, but the central act is a maritime procession celebrated on the 16th July. In the evening, after the mass in honour of our patron, a procession takes place. This procession is headed by the sailors who carry the image of the virgin Carme out of the church and through the streets until arriving at the docks. There, the image of the virgin Carmen is embarked on a boat and accompanied by numerous other fishing boats and where the procession continues along the sea.
It is one of the most traditional festivals that are celebrated punctually every 17th of January. It is a festival with strong ties to the popular customs of the peasants. Because of this, our great-grandfathers pleaded for the preservation of the Sant Antoni festival, the patron saint of the domestic animals.
As in many other villages in Majorca, in Porto Cristo, on January 16 bonfires are ignited. Whilst the demons chase the children and the older people eat "llangonissa" (a spicy pork sausage) or botifarrones (a type of sausage), the fire symbolizes the purification, the renewal of life and the victory of good against evil.
On the 17th, in the "Plaça de Ses Comes" the "beneïdes" (the benediction) are celebrated with animal parade, floats decorated with rural motives and with constant reference to the life of the saint.
A vital part of the Sant Antoni festivities is the music and the "gloses" (popular song). Here is an example of a "glosa"
Sant Antoni és un bon sant
qui té un dobler li dóna
perquè li guard s'animal
tant de pell com de ploma
Sant Antoni is a good Saint
who is given money by
for his care towards their animals
those with feathers as well as those with hair
►Reis mags d'Orient (The three wise men)
The "Night of the Three Wise Men "(from January 5 to January 6) is a magical night highly anticipated by children. Days before, the children of Porto Cristo make sure to behave themselves and write a letter to Kings Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar asking for all the gifts that they wish.
On January 5th, guided by the Eastern star the three wise men make the journey to Porto Cristo by ship and then a smaller boat transports them from the "Martell" to the wharf. There, the three wise men of the east are welcomed by the authorities and the people of the village.
After the speeches associated with this occasion, the kings rise on to their floats ladened with presents and make the journey to the church. There, one by one, they call the names of the children of Porto Cristo and deliver them the gifts that they asked for.
The carnivals at Porto Cristo are festivals celebrated by the whole of the village. People of all ages partake in the amusement of the "rua" (the march) with the Passeig de la Sirena seen as the vocal point of the celebration, with everybody having a good time. The Porto Cristo district board is in charge of the celebrations with a musical or entertainment group, who are the main protagonists, invited to play. Both schools also organize an annual "rueta" (a small procession) which sees the bringing together of colours and happiness. The "rueta" brings creation and imagination to the streets of Porto Cristo. The carnival comes to a close with the burial of the Sardine "l'enterro de la Sardina", where a Sardine is sacrificed and buried
►The holy week
The holy week is a religious celebration to commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but which but has traditionally been associated with the processions and the confraternities.
On Palm Sunday, in the morning, before the 11 o'clock mass, the people and mainly the children meet by the doors of the "Convent de les Monges" to bless the branches and the palm leaves. Previously the procession took place up to the church in commemoration of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem.
On Holy Thursday the Porto Cristo "Cofraria Verge del Carme" the Virgin Carmen association conducts a moving procession and on Good Friday organizes a spectacular crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus on the beach
The holy week properly finishes on Easter Sunday with the procession of the "Encontre" (the finding) that represents the discovery of resurrected Jesus with his mother. Many people in Porto Cristo also maintain the custom of "Sa Berena" (going on an excursion), on Easter Monday and if the weather permits it is also the time to take the first swim of the year. In relation to the Easter holidays, and as like in the rest of villages in Mallorca, we have to emphasize the gastronomic wealth that belongs to these festivities: panades (pies filled with meat and peas, rubiols (cream filled pastries) and crespells (traditional biscuits)"