Menorca events and fiestas

Fiestas de San Luis, Menorca
Fiestas de San Luis, Menorca © Martin Varsavsky

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.

Fiesta Dates

Summer Fiestas take place the same date period each year
Town Date Saint Celebrated
June
Ciutadella 23rd and 24th June Sant Joan
July
Es Castell 24th, 25th and 26th Sant Jaume
Es Mercadal 3rd weekend Sant Martí
Fornells Last weekend
Es Migjorn Gran 5th weekend in July or 1st weekend in August Sant Cristòfol
August
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
September
Mahon 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Mare de Deú de Gràcia
Cala’n Porter 3rd weekend
Fiestas de San Juan Ciudadella
Fiestas de San Juan Ciudadella © Morfheos

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.

Jaleos

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 ).