One of the most colourful celebrations in Mallorca is the annual Festa de l’Estendard on December 31st (tomorrow), celebrating the conquest of Madînat Mayûrqa, now Palma, by the troops of Rey Jaume I in 1229.
The Festa de l’Estendard is a festivity with historical, political and military elements, involving beautiful horses, uniforms and music. It is said to be one of the oldest such celebration in Europe, as it was first commemorated during the 13th century.
Curiously enough, there is no mention of any celebrations on the Ajuntament de Palma website, this year. Has the celebration been cut back, or even cancelled, due to La Crisis? I certainly hope not. We’ll just have to wait until tomorrow, and see.
Sadly, the conquest by the King from Aragon and his men also implies the surrender and annihilation of the Moorish population under the last Almohad Wâlî (governor), Abu Yahya Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Abi Imran at-Tinmalali. No mention is made of him in any of the festivity literature. To be fair, though, one has to state that there is a square in his name, the Plaza de Abú Yahya in Palma, up from the 31 de Diciembre, fittingly.
P. S.: I went to Palma today to check on the Festa. Yes, it will be happening. Tonight at 20h00, a tribute will be paid at the Jaume I statue in Plaça d’Espanya. Tomorrow at 10h30, a mass will be held at the Palma Cathedral, followed by a procession of dignities, mounted forces, Cavallets and Cossiers dancers, parading down to Plaça Cort and the town hall. There, at 12h00, La Colcada will be performed by Miquela Lladó and a crowd of schoolchildren, followed by an address given by the Batle de Ciutat, Mateu Isern. The only cut-back, due to La Crisis, was the festive programme. It was simply scrapped. There you go.
The photo (top) was taken in Palma, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: December 30th, 2011. The time was 13:16:33. The photo (bottom) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of mallorcaquality.com.