As with so many feast days in Mallorca, the main celebrations take place
on the eve of the fiesta. In years gone by this was an economically sound
arrangement as people could finish working on the land in the evening,
enjoy themselves to the full, recover the following day and be back at
work at sunrise on the next.
The main Christmas meal takes place on Christmas Eve (Nochebuena)
and runs to several courses. Afterwards there is a Watchnight Service in
the local church. It is known as the Misa de Gallo –the Cockerel’s
Mass– in Mallorca, based on the assumption that the cockerel would have
been the first to announce the birth of Christ at dawn. The highlight of
the Mass is the singing of the Sibil.la.
Christmas lasts for the full twelve days so that it is not unusual to hear
Christmas carols and see Santa Claus during this time. Towards Twelfth Night
he is gradually superseded by the Three Kings.