Celebrating la Fiesta de Sant Joan - Ciutadella de Menorca Edition
Hi there! You've seen how we celebrate Sant Joan in Palma de Mallorca, now it's time to introduce you to the Menorquin version of this huge feast that is also the local way to welcome the beginning of the summer.
On a historical note, the Sant Joan fiesta is a matter of a couple of days on the island, as the feast is held on the 23rd & 24th of June as well as on the Sunday before. It probably is the most traditional and most famous fiesta, it indeed has been held since the XIVth century and it includes different customs that are still maintained until this day.
At first, on the Sunday before the start of the celebration known as Diumenge des Be, in a group of caixers (men and women representing the different social statuses and trades) and the fabioler (city herald) accompany a barefoot man dressed in lambskin pelts with a live ram draped over his shoulders, around the streets to announce the Start of the fiestas.
Then on the 23rd, the church’s fund comission would make a religious procession on horseback to the small rural chapel now known as Sant Joan de Missa to honour their patron saint. The riders, or cavallers, are local farmworkers of all ages, which are followed by so called caixers. El fabioler, rides on a donkey and guides the procession through the streets as he plays a distinctive tune on his flute.
The parade lasts until dusk on the 25th, virtually non-stop. It is rythmed by events more spectacular one from another, such as the Caragol des Born in the evening of the 23rd and the medieval games, horse-races and jousting held on the evening of the 24th in the Pla de Sant Joan (s’ensortilla, ses carotes y córrer abraçats).
We were very lucky to witness this unique event, and we highly recommend you take part in it if you are visiting the Balearic Islands during that period as it is the most emblematic celebration of the area!
Check out how it's done in Palma de Mallorca, and tell us which fiesta would you try first!
- Palma Insta Team