Two of the beautiful Mallorcan towns nestled in the Serra de Tramuntana celebrate one of the most exciting and acclaimed festivals of the Balearic Islands. These festivals will transport you to a crucial moment in the history of the island of Mallorca, when these towns fought off enemy pirates.
In Sóller, on the Monday that follows the second Sunday in May, the inhabitants, known as sollerics, celebrate the popular Es Firó festival, which commemorates the brave resistance of the town against attack by Saracen pirates in 1561. At three in the afternoon bells ring to alert the people of Sóller of enemy ships. The solleric peasants gather in the centre of town, ready to go to battle under the command of Captain Angelats, who offers a prayer to Mare de Déu de la Victòria for a successful outcome to the battle.
To watch the first clash between Moors and Christians we have to go to Puerto de Sóller, first to Can Generós beach where pirates will attempt to land and then to En Repic beach, the setting for the first battle. The clashes take place on the Pont d’en Barona and then finish in the centre of Sóller, where the Christian side is finally proclaimed the victor.
Music in the streets, smoke from the blunderbusses and the clash of pirate swords will accompany you during this mythical re-enactment, which lasts all night with a great party.
In Pollença, the re-enactment of the Battle of Moors and Christians takes place on 2 August, the day of its Patroness, Our Lady of the Angels. The event starts at five o’clock in the morning when the pollensins (people of Pollença) give a stirring rendition of the Alborada; after that, a solemn Mass and the traditional dance of the Cossiers take place.
In the afternoon the confrontation begins between the two groups of fighters as the town of Pollença defends itself. Celebrated since 1860, the re-enactment of the battle begins in Plaza de la Almoina, where the Christian side, dressed in white, square up to the Moorish pirates, who are dressed in multicoloured clothing.
The corsairs gradually retreat until they reach the church of St. George (at the end of the main street) where the final battle takes place and triumph over the enemy is commemorated by singing a Te Deum in thanksgiving for the victory.
As you can see, the stage is set; don’t miss the show!