Carnival and Lenten Customs in Mallorca
Jaia Corema with her seven legs

There are carnivals all over the Island, with perhaps the showiest, and certainly the biggest ones, taking place in Palma and in Arenal. Children also have their own processions.

On the Tuesday after carnival, Portol buries the sardine to signify the beginning of Lent.

Lent is no longer marked by the austerity of earlier years. At one time, Mallorcans hung a figure with seven legs known as Jaia Corema, Old Mother Lent, in their houses and, as Lent progressed, a leg was tugged from it each week. A simple and entertaining way for children to measure the time until the Easter celebrations and the return - if not of plenty- at least of less monotony.

Even earlier Lenten celebrations had a more sinister tinge when half way through Lent crowds congregated in the square outside the Palma Town Hall to watch the Jaia Corema being sawn in half. On the block and by the public executioner, no less!

Funeral of the Sardine
Holy Week
Palm Sunday