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Canamunt vs Canavall: Palma de Mallorca’s annual water pistol battle and how you can take part

It’s Romeo and Juliet in the streets of Palma when the factions of Canamunt and Canavall relive history every year for an annual water pistol fight, a huge battle that takes over part of the city for some harmless but thrilling fun that pits two historic neighbourhoods against each other. It’s one of the most unique, wild and wonderful events in Palma’s calendar. 

Think Montague versus Capulet… but with water pistols.

There’s so much to do in Palma de Mallorca. Chill by the beach, get a cocktail or two, take a hike up a mountain (not in that order!) or indulge in a traditional tapas in one of the city’s fantastic restaurants. But Palma is also packed full of incredible local events that combine the city’s history with its flair for local festivals.

And one of those events is the Canamunt vs Canavall water battle in Parc de la Mar – the biggest and most important carnival— sorry, *battle of your life.

Here’s the history behind this bizarre tradition – and how you can get involved when you fly out to Palma this summer with London Southend Airport.

Canamunt and Canavall 

In Palma de Mallorca’s beautiful historic Old Town lived two noble aristocratic families with a legendary feud. That’s right, we’re really channeling Shakespeare – only this is beef you’ll want to get involved with, and the outcome is far less bloody (at least in the modern day).

In the 16th century, the Canamunts and Canavalls were at eachothers’ throats, often coming to blows in the city streets in a back-and-forth tit-for-tat feud that lasted for almost 60 years. 

To celebrate this historic rivalry, and commemorate the history, people now gather to fight in the streets of Palma’s Old Town to represent one of two teams. The Old Town is divided into two parts, Canamunta nd Canavall – the upper and lower parts of the old town, each representing one of the noble families. 

Then, dressed in Yellow or Red depending on the team (choose wisely, and in advance), the modern citizens of Palma de Mallorca engage in an all-out water fight that takes over the historic district in a bid to capture the oppositions’ house flag. 

So how can you join the battle? 

All you have to do is show up! 

Each year, the Canamunt (red) team shows up at the Porta des Camp, and the Canavall (yellow) team meets at the Placa Drassanes. Then, they’re accompanied by a band to the Parc de la Mer, where the battle will commence! 

There are only a few main rules:

1. Wear a red or yellow T-Shirt, depending on which side you’d like to join (these can be purchased from Parc de la Mer before, during and after; although you do immediately become a target!)

2. Don’t shoot anyone who isn’t involved in the battle

3. Children will be involved, so be careful and make sure nobody gets hurt – this is a noble feud after all

The date of the 2024 Canamunt vs Canavall battle has yet to be announced, so keep an eye on the organisers’ Facebook page for details! In past years, the event has been held at the end of August or the start of September, so if you’re planning a trip to Palma towards the end of the summer, it’s well worth making time to take part.

It’s lovely spending a holiday relaxing on the beach, but sometimes you have to be willing to get down and dirty to make some truly fantastic memories. So pick your (water) weapons and choose your team – we’ll be dusting off our Canamunt armour and shall see you there!

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