One of Mallorca’s most popular and deeply-rooted celebrations; don’t miss it
Full of colour, music, dances and tradition, the Feast of the Blessed Saint Catalina Thomàs is a dazzling annual celebration in the municipalities of Valldemossa, Santa Margalida and Palma, honouring the most beloved religious icon of Mallorcan popular culture.
Santa Catalina Thomàs (Valldemossa 1531-Palma 1574), popularly known as the “Beata” or “Beateta” was beatified in 1792, and it was then that several Mallorcan municipalities began to celebrate the Fiestas de la Beata in her honour.
On 28 July, Valldemossa pays homage to its patroness with the unique Triumphal Chariot parade. This is a stirring procession through the streets with the “Beateta” and her entourage of angels parading alongside carriages festooned with coloured ribbons and flowers to the rhythm of the Montuïri Band and the xeremiers.
This is a big week for the town and an ideal occasion to discover its charms! Marvellous views of the Serra de Tramuntana, the historical Carthusian monastery where Chopin once stayed, the crowded cobblestone streets strewn with flowers... and art, lots and lots of art, because Valldemossa also celebrates the Artdemossa arts festival at this time, a unique night for enjoying the art of the island under the moonlight. Music, photography, painting, crafts... It’s a magical evening!
In Santa Margalida, the procession of the Beata is celebrated on the first Sunday of September. It begins in the morning with demons racing through the streets of the town to wake local residents with the sound of the bells worn on their clothing.
Once night has fallen the procession begins, with the Beata at the head, and it parades through the streets accompanied by locals dressed as peasant farmers, marching bands and floats representing different moments of the life of the saint. But what will undoubtedly surprise you the most will be the demons trying to wrest vases from the farmers to smash them on the ground at the foot of the Beata, as they dance around. This highly distinctive procession ends with the demons smashing the last of the vases in the Church Square.
The streets of Palma are also filled with colour during its traditional Triumphal Chariot parade, accompanied by demons, bigheaded festival figures and xeremiers, which is held on the third Saturday of October.