The renewal of festive traditions in Mallorca: ludic empowerment and cultural transgressions

Pau Obrador Pons, Antoni Vives Riera, Marcel Pich-Esteve

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines the rise of new festive traditions in Mallorca, a thriving and colourful scene popularly known as neofestes. The term describes a range of recently invented festive rituals that are revitalising as well as disrupting the traditional festive calendar of the island with more participatory and empowering traditions. The chapter reflects mainly on the case of La Mucada, an invented festive tradition in the village of Sineu, which is the most paradigmatic and successful example of the neofestes. Drawing on a series of ethnographic incursions, we will explore the transgressive potential of the neo-festes. In cultural studies, the notion of invented tradition has negative connotations implying dishonesty and manipulation of the past. This chapter develops a more progressive view of renewal, by highlighting the transgressive potential of invented traditions as a site of cultural change and political struggle. Its political value lies in the heterotopic ability to mobilise alternative orderings of space that problematise essentialised cultural identities of romantic origin. We see in La Mucada an unashamed attempt to decolonise and de-exoticise local identities, while reclaiming a global sense of the local that is autonomous from tourism. This chapter calls for the need to take seriously the transformative potential of ludic practices, particularly the cultural changes that comes through fun.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFestival Cultures:
Subtitle of host publicationThemes, Methodologies and Theoretical Approaches.
EditorsMaria Nita, Jeremy H. Kidwell
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)9783030883928
ISBN (Print)9783030883911
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


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