Enjoying Menorca’s Unique Fiesta de Sant Joan
Posted: May 22, 2014
If you’re planning to visit the Balearics during the summer months, you’re in for the experience of a lifetime. Along with year-round attractions - such as warm sunshine, gorgeous beaches, glorious sunsets, and sports and cultural events - in Menorca, villa holidays give visitors the freedom and independence to experience something uniquely the island's own – the fabulous "festes" or fiestas.
Fun for everyone
This stunning island in the Mediterranean loves its festivities and knows how to show it - so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to join in during the fiesta season. These celebrations are such an integral part of Menorcan culture that, often, you may be surprised to suddenly find yourself in the middle of one! However, there’s no bigger party than the Fiesta de Sant Joan in Ciutadella—a celebration so intense it encompasses an entire week.
Fiesta de Sant Joan
If you want to totally immerse in this fiesta, though the official feast days of Sant Joan (or Saint John the Baptist, as he is better known) are June 23rd and 24th, when planning your trip to Menorca, villa holidays should be arranged around the third Sunday of June to coincide with the beginning of the celebration. Typically, the Seven Days of Sant Joan begins with the Cavall y Cavaller de Menorca, during which black-and-white-suited riders atop Menorcan horses adorned with ribbons and other finery parade through the colourfully decorated streets on a pilgrimage to church. You may be tempted to try to get close to the impressively trained and beautiful horses, but you should be careful to keep your distance or you may interrupt the parade.
If you’re feeling brave of heart, attend the daytime or nighttime jaleos, during which the horses rear up on their hind legs as their riders parade them through the crowds. It is said that those bold enough 'touch the heart of the horse' will be granted good luck in the coming year. This isn’t recommended for children, but the horses rest in between performances, which is the perfect time for a petting session.
Eat, drink and be merry
What’s a party without a bit of indulgence? In Menorca, villa holidays allow visitors to sample the authentic and traditional island cuisine, but a fiesta is the perfect opportunity to try the things the locals save for the most special occasions. Pomada, a local cocktail made of local Xoriguer gin and lemonade, served ice cold, is the official alcoholic drink of the fiesta, and is served by nearly all households and food and drink establishments. (For those who prefer to stay away from alcohol, there are plenty of other drinks to keep you hydrated.) You can also enjoy local delicacies such as baked goods like ensaymadas and pastissets, cured hams and other meats, cheeses, and chocolate.
Even though the fiesta is scheduled to coincide with the longest days of the year, be prepared to party long into the night at this time of year on Menorca. Villa holidays will enable you to maintain your own little private piece of paradise in which to relax and recuperate.
Brenda Jaaback is the Managing Director of Bartle Holidays. They can provide you with a wide selection of great accommodation for your Menorca villa holidays. Bartle Holidays makes no warranty as to the accuracy of information contained in this article and excludes any liability of any kind for the information.
Writer and Online Marketing Manager in London.