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30 posts categorized "Resident Staff"

03/22/2012

Fairs, Festivals and Markets 4, by Toni Vives (Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain)

Foto toni blogLet's talk now about festivals, something students really enjoy while in Palma de Mallorca. The origin of the majority of festivals in the Balearics – a separate concept to fairs and markets -  is rooted in the religious homage paid to both male and female saints, reflecting the importance of Christianity – and its associated traditions - to the Islands. The two most significant dates in the Christian calendar, Christmas and Easter underpin key events in the Balearics.

In Palma, there is an impressive number of festivals, some of a general nature which are celebrated across the city and others which are more localised and held in specific neighbourhoods. Starting with those which have been celebrated since ancient times, there is the «Festival of the Standard»; the «Sunday of the Angel»; the «Eve of San Juan»; the «Blessing of San Antonio Abad»; the festival of Saint Sebastian who is the patron saint of Palma – and of course the Carnival processions in early February of which there are two versions – one held for children dressed up in a myriad of disguises, and one for adults who follow suit. Also worth mentioning are the pilgrimage of Sant Bernat; the festival of Majorca’s only saint – Santa Catalina Tomás  (known familiarly as the Beata); and the festival of the Virgen de la Salud (the Virgin of Health), amongst others.

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Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/155911482876

And our official websites:

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/liberal-arts

 https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/business-tourism

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-language-culture

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-internship-program

03/12/2012

Fairs, Festivals and Markets 3, by Toni Vives (Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain)

Foto toni blog

A new element in the Balearic calendar which has been developed in towns and villages in more recent times, has been the creation of fairs based on a single event or specific theme. These occasions have rapidly become institutionalised and all them are very well attended.

One such example is the eye-catching annual Fira del Fang (pottery fair) which takes place in Marratxí, a suburb of Palma. This fair, which has been taking place since 1985 during the month of March, gives the opportunity to all craftsmen in the district, as well as from other parts of the Islands, to exhibit their finely-crafted clay-based and ceramic work and to set up a variety of workshops in which members of the public are invited to take part. The fair, which goes on for a whole week and which consistently sees visitors thronging the streets, finishes its last day with what is known as a  «trencadissa» – a ritual smashing of piles of broken or defective pieces of pottery which the marketeers have set aside whilst the fair has been running.

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Over the last few years, there have been a number of other fairs on Mallorca which have been gathering in importance and popularity, namely: the Snail Fair at Sant Jordi, east of Palma; the Olive Oil fair in Caimari; the Partridge Fair in Montuïri; the Melon fair in Vilafranca; the Grape Harvest festival in Binissalem; the Sweet and Patisserie Fair in Esporles; the Wild Mushroom fair in Mancor de la Vall and the Herb festival in Selva are just some.

The key festivals on Minorca are related to Island farming and agriculture. Amongst these, decidedly worthy of mention are the Thoroughbred Horse Fair; the Minorcan Partridge Fair and the Country Fair held in Alaior, where the traditional Fresian cow competition is held.

For some years now, a Trade Fair has been organized on an annual basis giving prominence to the different products and services of the Islands of Ibiza and Formentera. An event which is also growing in popularity and importance is the Mediaeval Fair held on Ibiza. 

Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/155911482876

And our official websites:

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/liberal-arts

 https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/business-tourism

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-language-culture

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-internship-program

03/05/2012

Fairs, Festivals and Markets 2, by Toni Vives (Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain)

Foto toni blogName: Antoni Vives Reus

Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca

Fairs, festivals, and markets have played a part in the life of Balearic society for centuries. Deeply rooted in the history of the Islands, they are an important reflection of the culture of the Western Mediterranean.

Fairs, as distinct from markets, cover a wider geographical area and historically have had greater socio-economic relevance, not only because a larger number of products were on sale but also because they were occasions on which prices were agreed, businesses were set up or brought to a close, rents and charges were levied, new services were contracted or old ones terminated. Over the last few years, fairs have been accompanied by sporting, musical or cultural events which have brought a festive atmosphere to what was originally a commercial enterprise.

The oldest fair in the Islands – handed down over the centuries - is held in Sineu. Thanks to a royal charter granted by King Sancho, an annual fair has been held here every first Sunday in May since 1318.  This fair is probably the occasion which attracts the largest concentration of craftsmen, farmers, and marketeers from right across Mallorca.

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In the year 2000, celebrations were held to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the founding of the north east Mallorcan town of Capdepera. The occasion revived the tradition of holding a mediaeval street fair which has been enthusiastically maintained since that date.  With its mediaeval castle walls crowning a summit that offers panoramic views both of the coast and inland terrain, the town has successfully recreated the atmosphere of a bygone era. Local crafts and farming provide the backdrop to many of the activities, workshops and exhibitions at the fair which are held to the lively accompaniment of musical side shows, jugglers, and  impressive local horse racing.

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Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/155911482876

And our official websites:

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/liberal-arts

 https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/business-tourism

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-language-culture

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-internship-program



02/27/2012

Fairs, Festivals and Markets 1, by Toni Vives (Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain)

Toni 2Name: Antoni Vives Reus

Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca

Fairs, festivals, and markets have played a part in the life of Balearic society for centuries. Deeply rooted in the history of the Islands, they are an important reflection of the culture of the Western Mediterranean. This is the first article of a series. Today I will tell you about markets in Mallorca.

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Some markets can trace their origins back to the era of King Jaime II in early Mediaeval times. In fact, a large number of those that are still celebrated today – that may not date back that far – are at least a century old. As elsewhere, markets held on the Islands are occasions when manufacturers, producers, intermediaries and customers meet for trading purposes. In the Balearics, goods on sale are frequently related to agriculture or the fishing industries.

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Nowadays, the vast majority of towns and villages have a weekly market. Two of the markets which have a lengthy tradition and which have been going from strength to strength in recent years are that of Sineu which is held every Wednesday, and that of Santa Maria del Camí, which takes place every Sunday morning. Both are significant because of the high number of marketeers and visitors who flock to the stalls.

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Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/155911482876

And our official websites:

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/liberal-arts

 https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/business-tourism

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-language-culture

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-internship-program


01/20/2012

Festivals, holidays and celebrations in Palma, by Toni Vives (Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca)

Toni 2Name: Antoni Vives Reus

Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca

Today is a perfect day to talk about celebrations in Palma, because just today, every January 20th, we celebrate the festival of Sant Sebastià, one of the most important and crowded festivals in Palma, given its official nature as the saint patron of the city and its wide variety of events. Its origin goes back to the year 1523, when the plague hit the island. That same year Manuel Suriavisqui, the archdeacon of the church of San Juan de Coladie in Rhodes, reached Palma carrying one bone from the arm of Saint Sebastian. That was interpreted as a sign of God, the relic was donated to the Cathedral and the plague disappeared. To honor the saint a brotherhood was set up, and he was declared patron of the city in 1643. Today the religious holyday goes together with barbecues in several squares and streets, animated with musical concerts, as well as cultural and sport activities.

IMG_2539During the year, several holidays are celebrated in Palma, some of them interest the whole city others are confined each to their neigborhood.

Starting with the oldest, we would like to mention the Estendard festival, each 31st of December in the Plaza de Cort, commemorating the entrance of King James I in the city; the Angel Sunday, held on the first Sunday after Easter originated as an act of solidarity to the needed; the magic night of Sant Joan each 23rd of June, the summer solstice (here you can see pictures of CIEE students dressing in white and dancing in Sant Joan night inside the fire)

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1214323628_0Sant Antoni Festival each 17th of January: people fills the streets and get the blessing for their pets;

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Fiestas de la beatathe Sant Sebastià (patron of the city) festival on January 20th; the pilgrimage of San Bernat each 19th of August and the Rua, the carnival celebration with children and adults wearing costumes before the spiritual withdrawal of Lent.

In the life of Palma in 19th and 20th century one should not forget to mention the Spring festivals as well as the debuts of the Círculo Mallorquín, with its elitist touch. Parents took advantage of these debuts in order to show off their daughters and introduce them to adulthood. At the same time the suitors had the perfect opportunity to ask to dance the girl of their desire. Another event worth to mention was the Salón de Otoño organized by the Círculo de Bellas Artes, whose cultural goal was to publicize the best artists of the moment. This initiative would contribute to creating an art environment quite favorable to the city.

01/13/2012

Palma, a city with a long history 7, by Toni Vives (Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca)

Toni 2Name: Antoni Vives Reus

Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca

The tram was the means of transportation that marked this beginning of the 20th century of the city. Believe it or not, in a few years a true network of transportation based on this means developed. Its span covered not only downtown but reached also the outer neighborhoods. Some of the lines bore a genuine tourist interest for visitors, such as the one directed to the Coliseo Balear, where a short stop allowed passengers to admire and take pictures of the Plaza de Toros; or the line following the shoreline route of Es Molinar, overlooking the old bath cabins of Ciudad Jardin. Another line that visitors loved went from Porto Pí, through the fishermen neighborhood of Santa Catalina, the privileged area of el Terreno, the panoramic views of Porto Pí to end up into the Cas Català area. Some of the current city neighborhoods blessed with the arrival of the tram were Son Roca (1921), Génova (1922), La Soledad (1922) and Establiments (1926).

Tamara 012Funny to say, it was the Génova neighborhood making itself a name for cuisine starting in the 1950s, both for tourists and locals. Stories tell of tens of trucks full of passengers piling up in its streets and causing awe. The views of the na Burguesa mountain range, of Cas Català and the Bellver Castle, together with the visit to its small but pretty caves and with the savory recipes of Majorcan cuisine, made this neighborhood of Palma the target or pilgrimage for the lovers of good cuisine.

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01/06/2012

Palma, a city with a long history 6, by Toni Vives (Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca)

Toni 2Name: Antoni Vives Reus

Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca

Paseo del Borne is a distinguished location in Palma because of its ambience, crowd, events or as a meeting point. Many older guys still remember their walk up and down while the girls, sitting together, whispered to each other. We can say that some sort of ranking existed, given that well off family girls will get together one day of the week while maids, wet nurses and housekeepers met the other. Those were the rules of the game. Some state that in the Paseo one could rent chairs in order to enjoy the show.

S5000739Easily understood why cinema reached the island first in the Paseo del Borne where most of the social life concentrated. Palma was one of the first cities of Spain, together with Barcelona and Valencia, to get hypnotized with the first cinematic projections. While the Lumière brothers showed their first public projection in a cafe in Paris on December 28, 1895, Palma's Teatro Principal held its first projections on January 27, 1897. They had to be repeated for a few days given the interest shown by Majorcan society. As years went by cinemas grew in number in the city, up to experiencing a great expansion in the 1920s and 30s. Some of the most important theaters in Palma in the 1920s were the Teatro Principal, the Teatro Lírico, the Teatro Balear, the Cine de la Asistencia Palmesana, the Teatro Victoria, the Cine Moderno, the Cine La Protectora, the Cine Oriental, the Cine Palace and the Sala Rialto. The Sala Rivoli was the last theater opening up in this period, namely in 1929, and it is still open. Trafalgar, the first sound film shown in Palma, was projected in 1930 at the Cine Moderno. Moreover, starting with 1933 the Plaza de Toros held summer movie projections. By that time many neighborhoods in Palma had their own cinema theater.

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12/30/2011

Palma, a city with a long history 5, by Toni Vives (Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca)

Toni 2Name: Antoni Vives Reus

Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca

Near Porto Pí we find the el Terreno neighborhood. Its beautiful and panoramic views to the bay of Palma and to the Bellver Castle make it a privileged location, earlier for spending the summer and later for accommodating the first tourists during the 1920 and 30s. We should not forget mentioning that a colony of British tourists will establish there and will open their own Anglican chapel, an English club, a school and a set of commercial services with British products. There spent large stays some illustrious visitors of the time such as Santiago Rusiñol. By time the Gomila square, will become the cosmopolitan center of Palma's life, with its emblematic restaurants and night clubs. Some of them, such as Tito's opened up in 1935 and still exist. However, many of them ended up closing down. All the artists and important figures of the International social life of the time ended up at Tito's, which contributed to putting Palma in the spotlight.

P1010022No wonder the first hotel of the island opened its doors in Palma. The Grand Hôtel, located between the Ramblas and the Paseo del Borne was unveiled in 1903 offering all comforts and luxury of that time: power, central heating and room service, inspired to the quality of the César Ritz model. Its exterior architectural design reflects the modernist splendor of the time, while the interior was decorated with murals by the famous Catalan artists Joaquín Mir and Santiago Rusiñol. Starting with the Grand Hôtel, all the accommodation facilities of the island attaining a certain quality started to be called hotels. This change in terminology also had some impact on the way tourism business worked and was created.

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12/23/2011

Palma, a city with a long history 4, by Toni Vives (Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca)

Toni 2Name: Antoni Vives Reus

Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca

The great nobility palaces of Palma in 16th, 17th and 18th centuries also witness its importance in those times. Voyagers may admire their embellishments in portals, large windows, cobblestone and roofs. Many of them come with large internal patios, with lights and shadows, including magnificent stairs and cisterns full of character.

Mis fotos 146Es Call, the ancient Jewish neighborhood of Palma, is preserving a marked historical character in spite of the passing of time. Its streets can be found between the church of Santa Eulalia and the basilica of San Francisco, even though initially they had a larger span. This quarter had an important role because it hosted the homes and stores of craft and jewelry of the "xuetas", the last converted Jews of the 17th century.

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One should not forget that Palma is a maritime city. Its most ancient harbor was located in the Porto Pí area, just at the end of the contemporary Paseo Marítimo. There we find one of the oldest lighthouses of Europe, used to support navigation but also to warn the city against dangers coming from the sea by means of a code of flags and signs. Porto Pí will also come to fame at the beginning of the 20th century as one of the favorite summer places of Palma dwellers. During the months of hotter weather it became a healthy habit to move to that area to enjoy the breeze and some swims.


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12/16/2011

Palma, a city with a long history 3, by Toni Vives (Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca)

Toni 2Name: Antoni Vives Reus

Professor at CIEE Palma de Mallorca

Mallorca's Cathedral can be considered as the most authentic and representative Majorcan landmark, given its exceptional dimensions as well as historical and artistic qualities. Many tales and anecdotes exist on La Seu, however one trait often goes unnoticed to eye of the visitor: its separated bell tower alone deserves our attention. Its interior contains several jewels among which we choose to mention one. We refer to n’Eloi, as Majorcans call it, with its 1200 pounds and two meters of diameter, and requiring several people in order to toll it. Its special grave sound, on holidays, is recognized with pleasure by the Palmesanos.

CathedralAnother aspect that is worth mentioning of this monument, is the renovation carried out by the Catalan architect and visionary Antoni Gaudí at the beginning of the 20th century. In the renovation project, the central choir would disappear, a few stained glass windows were opened, the high altar was decorated with ceramic inserts, and a collection of forged iron chandeliers were hanged on the slender columns of the Cathedral, according to Modernist rules. Said changes did not receive a welcoming acceptance by the stagnant society of the time and the architect left in despair, leaving unaccomplished much of its creations in the Seu.

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