What a weekend and what a fiesta!
Its taken a week to recover and sort out all the photos!
The Sant Joan we all know and love has returned to its greatness, successfully mixing tradition, tourism and paving the way for this to continue in the future. This year there were hardly any incidents, a stricter schedule of events and a focus on tradition with the involvement of everyone. I take my hat off to the acting Caixer Senyor Lluís de Olivar O’Neill. He was a fantastic leader and showman who had a constant smile on his face while leading the fiestas to a safe, punctual and enjoyable conclusion.
Changes included reduced laps in some parts of the program, and keeping to the traditional route through the town without deviations for the horses. Also the involvement of more than 50 volunteers in the games in the port to create a clear path for the horses and riders to run faster, with greater confidence and without the fear of accidents with spectators. The result was an exciting show of 12 successful jousting attempts known as Ensortillas where the crowds cheered euphorically, danced and sang to the local fiesta songs played by the band. Followed by the Carotes, breaking of wooden shields whilst galloping on horseback, and then the corregudes abraçats, two horses galloping together with the riders linking arms. The finale in the port is the last time the Jaleo is played by the band and the best show of the horses jumping and walking on their hind legs.
To all the volunteers who gave their time for a clean and safe event, a big muchas gracias!
Truthfully there is so much going on during the days of the fiesta, the only ones who get to see it all are the cavallers on horseback. Only the fabiol and tambor is constant from the very start to the very end.
The beauty of Sant Joan is that each year you can discover a new aspect of it, yet the familiarity of reliving the many traditions with such passion and joy accompanied by friends and family, is what is at the heart of the Menorcan culture.
‘Si si si, Sant Joan es viu aixi’ – Yes, Yes Yes, Sant Joan is lived like this…
Here are some of the photos from the fiesta, capturing the best of Sant Joan and so many of the smiles and laughter. Visit our Facebook page to view them all. These are some of my favourites highlighting the wonderful details.
On final note, on Sunday my brother in law met a Spaniard who had been making his way round all the local fiestas in Spain during the last couple of years. He has seen almost all of them before finally making it to Sant Joan this year. According to him, he had left the best till last, as there is no other like Sant Joan. The duration in days and hours, the number of official traditions & protocols, the amount of horses and riders, the colour, the music, the atmosphere, the excitement and involvement of the people. The spirit of Sant Joan had made such an impression that in his opinion, there is no other equal to it. Nice to hear it from an experienced visitor rather than just us biased locals!
And the best part is that Sant Joan is only the start of the summer fiesta season in Menorca. The fun continues in the other towns around the island through to September. Visit our page on the local fiestas to find out when and where.
Just one more Jaleo, just because we love it.
Here is the last one of the fiestas after the games in the Port on the 24th June.