Fiestas and shows of Menorca
Menorcan patron fiestas
Their origin dates back to the 14th century when pilgrimages to the Sanctuary of Sant Joan de Misa converted into games between the different classes and these rituals and protocols have, down the ages become what we are accustomed to seeing today.
The protagonist of these festivals is undoubtedly the Minorcan horse. This breed of horse is magnificent with a black glossy coat and a strong resilient character. It owes its parentage to the islands historical past – with Arab, English and Spanish breeding combined.
This beautiful beast can be seen regularly on the island, and their presence is essential during the islands patron Saint festivals (fiestas patronales). The most famous fiesta and the second most important fiesta within Spain is the “San Juan Fiestas of Ciudadela, held on the 23-24 of June every year.However, “Saints day festivals “take place in all the islands towns and villages during the summer months; the features of the fiestas include:
- 'Es Jaleo':
This refers to the point when the riders enter the main square of the town to the sound of the fiesta music and where the energetic crowd is awaiting them. The riders make their horses rear up onto their back legs, (called the “bot”) the idea being that the valiant locals touch the heart of the horse (it represents luck for the forthcoming year) and they also support the horse, as the horse on two legs walks through the crowd, for as long as possible. The sound of the crowd is explosive as the horse’s parade in this way. Both riders and supporters have nothing but respect for the majestic beast.
- 'Ses Corregudes':
Are the horse races – racing down the street, through the crowd – who of course move out of the way!
'Ensortilla', 'Rompre ses carotes' and 'Correr abraçats': The most experienced and valiant riders also participate in the medieval games, racing together in pairs holding onto each others shoulders, or they knock down comically painted caricatures depicting the personalities and politicians of the moment, the fallen pieces are then passionately fought over between the crowd!
All the townsfolk, islanders and visitors “live” the fiestas and you will find live music, st
|23 y 24 de junio|
reet parties, fun fairs, carrying the ram, throwing hazelnuts, donkey processions and not forgetting magnificent firework displays (both on land and water).
The fiesta drink is also an icon of the island, introduced by the British! It’s a refreshing and potent mixture of local gin (GinXoriguer) with fresh lemonade, this drink is called “Pomada” (one third gin to two thirds lemonade).
Las fiestas patronales de Menorca
|Ciutadella||Sant Joan||23rd and 24th June|
|Es Mercadal||Sant Martí||14th and 15th July|
|Es Castell||Sant Jaume||24th and 25th July|
|Fornells||Sant Antoni||21st and 22nd July|
|Es Migjorn Gran||Sant Cristòfol||28th and 29th July|
|Llumaçanes||San Gaietà||4th and 5th August|
|Alaior||Sant Llorenç||11th and 12th August|
|San Clemente||Sant Climent||18th and 19th August|
|Ferreries||Sant Bartomeu||23th and 24th August|
|San Luís||Sant Lluís||25th and 26th August|
|Maó||Virgen de Gracia||7th, 8th and 9th September|
|Es Mercadal||Sant Nicolau||15th and 16th September|
|Cala'n Porter||Cala'n Porter||22nd and 23rd September|
|Alaior||Sant Nicolau||25th and 26th September|
Shows and Diversion
Son Martorellet and Club Escola Menorquina
A fine example of horsemanship can be found in the dressage schools in Menorca . Both the above offer shows for all the family and are easily located on the road from Ferreries to Cala Galdana. You can purchase tickets in our Reception.
The Caves of Xoroi
This unique discotheque and terrace bar, the only of its type in the world, is located in the southern resort of Cala en Porter. An old legend lies behind the caves name. The story is based around the life of an arab called Xoroi, a shipwreck survivor, who upon reaching the shores of Menorca found shelter in a large natural cave situated in the rock face of the Cala en Porter cliff. Well hidden and protected from prying eyes he made this cove his home. He survived by stealing from the surrounding farmlands, and it is on one of these furrowing trips that he fell in love with a local girl, and who, either with or without her consent; was taken to his cave. Years later, the locals who had long given up the search some time back, found the hideaway, the girl, Xoroi and their three children. Xoroi was cornered by the approaching angry mass and he and his eldest son dived into the foaming seas below, whether they survived, nobody knows. The girl and the remaining two children were taken back to the town of Alaior- where it is said that there are still descendants of Xoroi living today.
The actual disco starts from around midnight and throughout the summer invites international DJ’s to play their style of music. Although Menorca is a quiet island, the caves are without doubt the “hottest” night club in the Med and the music plays right through to breakfast time. A must for the young or “young at heart”.
The disco has steps down to the cave and has an outside terrace area too. It is on this terrace that you can relax and enjoy a drink and watch the sun go down.
Ses Pedreres de s´Hostal (Limestone quarry)
Located in Ciutadella, these old quarries have been given a new lease of life thanks to the work and energy of Leticia Lara, a local resident and her supporters. Throughout the year one can visit the quarry and the gardens but also events such as limestone sculpture classes, Tai-chi courses and musical events are held, particularly during the summer months.
No one knows just how old these quarries are but some say more than 200 years
The beauty of the quarry, Ses Pedreres de S´Hostal is displayed in its whimsical shapes, whether man-made or with natural erosion, molded over the years. Time and neglect have allowed nature to show all its glory amid the nooks and crannies and damp spaces at the bottom of the quarry.
It is also said to be cared for by mysterious litte elves and many say that they have heard whispers and noises….
One of the main summer events here is the Fiesta of the Full Moon in August. The nights with a full moon are very special here. The moonlight reflecting off the stone is particularly beautiful and this is when, so they say, you just might spy one of those elves dancing and singing on the stones…
Other Shows worth a mention
- Alaior´s Annual Horse Jumping Competition.
- Annual Menorcan Horse Show.
- Alaior´s Agricultural and Cattle Show.
- Es Mercadal´s Annual Food Show.