La Patrona Festival in Pollensa is one of the most famous and busiest festivities in Majorca.
Loaded with tradition, it’s one of the highlights of the year for the inhabitants of Pollença, as well as an unforgettable event for the many visitors who visit the town on that day to experience the battle in person.
The La Patrona Festival, also called the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels (Mare de Déu dels Àngels), has a significant historical significance in Pollensa. The festival honours the town’s patron saint, the Virgin Mary, and remembers the triumph of the local people against Turkish pirates during the 16th century. It is a reminder of the town’s strength and solidarity in times of difficulty.
On 2nd of August, almost the entire population of Pollensa hits the streets to participate in the mock battle with swords made of wood, the Christians dressed in white pyjamas and nightgowns and their adversaries with colourful attire.
August 2nd marks the lively celebration of Pollensa, featuring numerous exciting activities and traditional rituals. The festival starts with a solemn religious ceremony at the Church of Our Lady of the Angels, where locals gather to honour the patron saint. Afterwards, the atmosphere transforms into a lively carnival-like celebration. The streets are decorated with colourful decorations, and live music fills the air.
During a traditional event in Pollensa, a large portion of the population takes to the streets to engage in a mock battle using wooden swords. The “Christians” wear white pyjamas and nightgowns, while their opponents don colourful clothing.
Prior to the battle, the festivities commence with a customary opening speech, trailed by the significant Cossiers dance that holds a significant role in these celebrations.
At the early hours of the morning, the arrival of the privateers is simulated to signal the neighbours to be prepared. However, it’s not until the evening, after the procession of an ancient image of the patron saint, that the recreation of the Moors against Christians’ battle begins.
The recreation of the battle begins in the plaza of the Almoina, in the “Fuente del Gallo”, with the meeting of the leaders of both armies: Joan Mas, Christians, and Dragut and his Lieutenant, on the other hand of the Moors.
At 7 o’clock, after invoking Joan Mas Mare de Déu dels Àngels, an impressive simulacrum starts in which both armies face. Little by little, the moro army will go back from the main street to Can Nogues, where the real Mayor joins the battle.
Pollensa Main Square
The Moors retreat down the main street, and when they reach Can Nogués, l’Ajuntament Vella joins the battle, a character who represents the former University governing body in Majorca. When they arrive at the Church of Sant Jordi, there is another fight that represents the liberation of the women, men and children imprisoned there by the Moors.
Finally, the Christians defeated the Moorish army in the field of “Can’ Escarrinxo” when they snatched the flag. The victory celebration ends with the traditional singing of the Te Deum in the parish.
The result? The people of Pollença won thanks to Joan Mas, who led the fight against the opponents, far superior in number: 1,500 men who were not able to defeat the brave local inhabitants.
With the passing of the years, the recreation of the battle between Moors and Christians has become the main attraction for all tourists who have decided to spend their holidays in Majorca. But this is not all, you can enjoy many more activities, such as concerts, activities for children, markets, evening parties, and much more.
For an unforgettable cultural experience in Mallorca, make sure to save August 2nd on your calendar and make your way to Pollensa for the La Patrona Festival. This mesmerizing event offers historical reenactments, lively parades, delicious cuisine, and an electrifying atmosphere that will create cherished memories that will stay with you forever.