FIESTA PATRONA & CRISTIANOS Y MOROS – POLLENCA
It’ll be a tight-packed battle through the streets of Pollenca: heavy swords clashing against humble sticks and poles, combatants bellowing, guns clattering.
Terrifying? Not at all! Not when it’s an all-in-good-fun reenactment of one of this fetching town’s signature historical events, held during one of its major festivals of the year. And you can experience the energy firsthand when you stay with us at one of our Puerto Pollenca hotels—just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Pollenca festivities!
So what exactly is the staged fight, which takes place August 2, all about? It’s one of numerous “Battle of the Moors and Christians” pantomimes held throughout the Balearics and Spain, but the Pollenca version that coincides with the town’s Fiesta Patrona is one of the best-known. It evokes an attack by the Barbary pirates (or corsairs) back in 1550, during a period when the seagoing Ottomans conducted many raids in the Balearic Islands.
The Pollenca raid in question, led by the great Ottoman privateer Dragut, took place under the cover of night, but local Joan Mas managed to muster his fellow townspeople for the defense. In the Fiesta Patrona reenactment (nicely described in this “See Mallorca” writeup by Jane Leitch), participants dressed as the “Christians” wear white, nightshirt-like garb—reflecting the freshly awoken, hastily battle-ready state of the Pollencins—while the sword-wielding “Moors” are more elegantly costumed.
The rowdy battle, which swings in the townsfolk’s favor when they call upon La Patrona (the Virgin Mary) for aid, culminates in the Moors’ defeat at Ca’n Escarrintxo, the Christians brandishing the pirates’ flag through the streets, and a grateful service at the church. Played out against the backdrop of Pollenca’s gorgeous historical architecture, the whole affair’s amazing to witness.
The Battle of the Moors and Christians—broadcast on local TV, too—is the crowning event of the jubilant Fiesta Patrona, which runs from late July to early August every year and sees a whole slew of other festivities—music, feasts, late-night parties—in the leadup to the staged melee. Some of the most exuberant revelry goes on the night before the battle.
Visiting Pollenca during Fiesta Patrona gives you the chance to sample for yourself the town’s love of tradition—and its dedication to getting together and having a good time. And the Battle of the Moors and Christians, witnessed in the flesh, gives you an appreciation for Mallorcan history in an outrageously fun atmosphere: It’s sure to be one of the highlights of your Balearic getaway.
And here at Hoposa, we’d love to host you for the occasion. Choose from one of our lovely seaside hotels in Puerto Pollensa, a stone’s throw from Pollenca and a pretty darn magical place to call home in Mallorca. We’ll see you at the (friendly) frontlines!