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Traditions Holy Week

Start of Holy Week: Experience Palma's Traditions

written by Es Príncep / March 25, 2024

Holy Week holidays are approaching, and in Palma, some prefer to stay and enjoy the traditions of this time and the good weather that heralds spring.

In Ciutat, many hang banners on their windows and balconies, both in modern neighborhoods and in the most traditional ones, to commemorate the celebrations of these days. It's also not uncommon to see florists filled with palms, which sponsors buy for their godchildren during this time, nor candies and other sweets in pastry shops.

Shall we take a walk through the most important traditions?

Holy Week in Palma: Traditions and Modernities

Holy Week begins, as in any other Spanish city, with Palm Sunday. This is where palms and palmones come into play. The former are elongated figures, almost like swords, handmade with tender palm leaves that have not seen the sunlight. They have not undergone photosynthesis, so at the time of braiding, they are completely white, and they remain so.

Palmes are slightly smaller pieces and are the ones that sponsors give to their godchildren. The artisan's creativity comes into play: stars are made, spheres, large models are reproduced in small... and there are even delicate versions to place in a baby's crib.

But before Palm Sunday, Holy Week officially begins with the proclamation that takes place at the Santa Clara convent, bringing together all the authorities of the Palma City Council and the ecclesiastical world.

Torches, wax, and candies

Most brotherhoods carry what are called torches, enormous candles that are lit when leaving the respective meeting point and remain lit all night, in all processions.

The altar boys accompanying the brotherhood members are responsible for cleaning the wax from the torches, which inevitably falls to the ground, and for lighting, if necessary, any candle that has gone out.

The scent of wax mixes with that of the flowers, and the silence of the attendees makes the nights of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday especially overwhelming.

But everything has its amusing side, and in this case, it's the candies and sugared almonds. These are small aniseed sweets, which sometimes hide an almond, that the brotherhood members have been distributing to attendees since time immemorial. Sometimes only to their acquaintances and friends, other times to a girl or a boy, and almost always to boys.

Nowadays, modern altar boys also distribute candies and strawberry lollipops shaped like a brotherhood member, something that many consider to be a big twist.

Easter Sunday: Chocolate and "Mona" Cakes

Easter Sunday -and the Second Holiday celebrated on Monday, for many villages in the islands- marks the end of a week that must be experienced.

It's the day when families gather to celebrate Easter, and in Mallorca, it's essential to do so with empanadas, crespells, and robiols. But there's also a tradition that cannot be overlooked: that of chocolate monas.

At first, they were cakes crowned with a fondant figure and adorned with small plush chicks and colorful feathers. Today... a glance at any pastry shop in Palma can give an idea of how much monas have modernized, and that they can be found in all sizes and formats.