The summer fiestas run from June to September and are not some contrived tourist event, so are genuine, different and much loved by the islanders.
The Menorcans love their festivals and especially the chance to show off their stunning native horses. The most eagerly awaited moments are the “Cargols”, when riders circle specific points along the route and especially the “Jaleos”, where riders bring their horse onto their rear legs.
|Summer Fiestas take place the same date period each year|
|Ciutadella||23rd and 24th June||Sant Joan|
|Es Castell||24th, 25th and 26th||Sant Jaume|
|Es Mercadal||3rd weekend||Sant Martí|
|Es Migjorn Gran||5th weekend in July or 1st weekend in August||Sant Cristòfol|
|Llumeçanes||1st weekend||Sant Gaietà|
|Alaior||2nd weekend||Sant Llorenç|
|Sant Climent||3rd weekend||Sant Climent|
|Ferreries||23rd, 24th and 25th||Sant Bartomeu|
|Sant Lluís||Last weekend||Sant Lluís|
|Mahon||6th, 7th, 8th and 9th||Mare de Deú de Gràcia|
|Cala’n Porter||3rd weekend|
What to expect at a Summer Fiesta?
Each town has it’s own flavour and scale but generally all follow the same pattern and will be ceremonial and visual – and always with local traditional riders showing off their horsemanship skills on the famous Menorcan horses with parades and Jaleo’s. – “Jaleo”- The young brave hope for good luck by touching the horses heart as the horse ‘dances’ above them. Much Pomada is drunk during the festival, but is very good natured. Note: The riders care too much about their horses for this to be stressing for the horses.
Menorcans love to celebrate and there will be lot’s of music and alcohol consumed eg Pomada ( with good humour and behaviour ) as well as events organised for residents. There may well be a fun fair and various live music acts on stage. And often there will be riders ‘competitions’ or races along the street or road. On the last night there is usually a spectacular firework display at midnight ( serious fireworks! ) Restaurants in the town and village centres stop serving food and set up street bars selling beer and pomada with party music. To eat visit the stalls that serve traditional fiesta snacks and other fast foods.
Oh and it’s all free of charge.
No Fiesta is complete without daytime and nightime Jaleos. This is where to excitable music riders will rear up their mounts and walk on horseback through the crowds as the brave try to ‘touch the heart’ of the horse for good luck. To health and safety worriers this looks a nightmare but we have never seen an accident in many,many years.
Safe for small children?
Jaleos can usually all be watched at a safe distance but the usual common sense applies with any large boisterous crowds. Fire crackers will be set off occasionally. The fireworks can be very loud, but superb ( bring ear plugs for children ).