“Christmas lights instantly make me feel eight years old again.” – Marilyn McNally
Getting in the mood for the holidays can be tricky business. Not all of us look forward to the end of year celebrations with the same wild abandon, so setting the stage can make all the difference between bah-humbug and brilliant.
This is where village, town and city Christmas lights come in handy. They’re cheerful and festive and almost guaranteed to put a smile on the faces of even the biggest Grinches among us.
The Palma 'Alumbrado' #
We’re lucky to be on Mallorca, where the Palma Christmas lights, considered by many to be the best display in the Mediterranean, are switched on this year on November 28th at 7 pm, in a ceremony called Alumbrado (or Enllumenat in Catalan) which many consider the most spectacular highlight of the winter season. The lights will stay on until January 7th, the day after Three Kings' Day, giving us all several weeks to oooh, ahhhh and just plain enjoy! There will be lots of entertainment starting at 5.30pm and there is also a small ice skating rink in Plaza España.
To decorate an entire city, especially that of the light-heavy city centre, is a huge endeavour taking a lot of preparation. Crews begin works as early as the end of October every year to ensure they are fully ready when the big night comes.
The centre of the festivities is on Plaça del Rei Joan Carlos I / Passeig des Born, where the entire square is decorated with massive lit balls, an awning of lights spanning the plaça and trees with spiralling fairy lights winding up them. The effect is mesmerising. Vendors hawking balloons decorated with LED lights are super popular with kids, as are the churro and hot chocolate sellers all set to the soundtrack of a Christmas concert.
This year's motto is Palma, City of the Futurewhich is meant to inspire the “values of solidarity and cooperation among the whole citizenry.” And for the first time it won't be the usual politician or local dignitary throwing the switch, but a not-for-profit citizen’s group chosen by a democratic public voting process has been selected to do the honours. Sixteen aspiring organisations applied for this honour, and voting is closed now but, as of this writing, the chosen group has not yet been announced.
The Whole Island in Festive Mode #
Although the Alumbrado is certainly the most spectacular in Palma, festive lights and decorations are adorning streets and squares of even the smallest rural village. Taking a walk in the mild night air of the Mediterranean winter, enjoy the season's quiet hours of the winter season, can be quite romantic and many a love story is reported to have started here. So, beware!
The Challenge #
Affordable Mallorca invites you to send personal snaps not only from the lighting ceremony in Palma on November 28th, 2019, but also to contribute photos from your own towns and villages of Mallorca as they light up this season for us to share as part of our holiday celebrations posts.
Send your favourite landscape / horizontal photos before December 8th and we will select those that best represent the love, joy and spirit of this, the season of giving. Please don’t forget to tell us your full name and where the photos are taken so we can make sure to credit you on the site. The best photos will be chosen by a panel and the winner will be treated to a delicious lunch at Santosha Restaurant in Palma. Good luck and see you there!
Contest Rules #
Please note that by submitting you have agreed to give Affordable Mallorca all rights to use your photo for the life of the website. If used at a later date, they will be properly attributed to the person who photographed them.
- Please send your best shots to [email protected].
- Give us your full name and the name of the location where your photo was taken.
- Horizontal/landscape photos only will be considered.
- Members of the Affordable Mallorca staff are excluded from this contest.
- All photos must be the sole property of the person submitting. By submitting, you agree to allow Affordable Mallorca to post your photos at their discretion.
- Latest submissions December 8th, 2019
- Winner will be announced the following week.
The Prize #
The prize for the best photo is a Menù del Dìa lunch for two at the Santosha restaurant in Palma, including starter, main course, dessert and water (or equivalent voucher for the weekend), worth 15€ each.
Thank you and Happy Holidays!
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By Stephanie Horsman
28 November, 2019