CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain
On March 1, Palma celebrates the Day of the Balearic Islands. In this date, mallorquines go out to the medieval market set by the harbour. In this market, it is possible to find all kinds of traditional food from Mallorca (sobrasadas, butifarrones, camallot, turrón de almendras con azúcar quemado, olivas trencades, pan payés, ensaimadas, miel con almendras, mermeladas de tomate, kiwi y mandarina). There are many handcrafted jewels, and decorations. All sellers are dressed in medieval clothing. Acting groups dressed as buffoons go around dancing and representing medieval short plays.
One Catalan tradition that is now becoming popular as well in Mallorca is the castellers or human towers. People make towers from at least five levels and they can get up to nine and ten levels. On the top there is always a child, named enxaneta (rider). CIEE students find very surprising that mothers would let their child climb a seven levels human tower only protected with a helmet.
Concerts in the street and some of the main squares make the city streets more lively. Also the cultural associations representing all regions of Spain place stands where everybody can learn about their traditions, dances, traditional dressing, and try some of the delicacies produced in their regions.
Finally, for those interested in politics, Consolat de Mar, the seat of the presidency of the Balearic government, has its doors open all day for anybody who wants to visit the premises.