Without much doubt, Easter is probably the most important religious festivity in the Mallorcan calendar, and the most family oriented celebration as well. For a start, the 40 days of Lent ended, at last, on Good Friday, reason enough to prepare Robiols (sweet pies), Panades (savoury pastries) and Crespells (sweet biscuits) for the festive weekend. Then, there are the Easter processions, all of which involve hooded cloaks and some of which, chains, flagellation and bare feet. There are theatrical passion play performances, Davallaments, Enterraments and vigils.
On Easter Sunday, most Mallorcan pueblos and parishes celebrate the resurrection of Christ and the Encontrada between the Virgin Mary and her son, Jesus. This is a joyful procession, now without hoods or cloaks, where brass music is played by the Banda de Música and when pigeons are released en masse to celebrate the happy occasion. A Missa Solemne (solemn mass service) is usually celebrated after the Encontrada, concluding the religious part of Easter and Setmana Santa for another year.
Easter Monday is not traditionally a church holiday in Spain but, has acquired holiday status in recent years to allow for the celebration of Pancaritats. In Mallorca, this is a tradition involving citizens convening at monasteries and hermitages to share food with one another and with other, less privileged members of the local community. In Felanitx, a Pujada Solidaria journey on foot was organised up to Sant Salvador, the nearest Puig to Felanitx and the seat of the Santuari de Sant Salvador, the monastery dating from the 15th century. It is my guess that more than one thousand Felanitxers participated, including yours truly.
Next Sunday, Diumenge de l’Àngel will be celebrated in Felanitx and elsewhere with more church services of the more formal kind and with more festive gatherings. More food to be shared between all, no doubt.
The photo (top) was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: April 24th, 2011. The time was 10:46:01. The photo (bottom) was borrowed from the Internet, showing the Encontrada being celebrated in Palma’s Cathedral, courtesy of diariodemallorca.es.