Local Festivities and “Fiestas de Sant Joan”
The local festivities are celebrated during the summer touching every town. These local events are the best evidence of the islanders rigor to maintaining its ancient protocol, and the The Minorcan horse is the star of the show.
The starting point of these festivities are held in Ciutadella between the 23rd and 24th of June.
The festivities are dedicated to the Minorcan horse breed, which, in perfect teamwork with its rider or “cavaller”, defy the laws of gravity with “Bots” (the horse stands on its back hinds and lift their front hoofs for number of seconds) while practising spectacular equestrian games.
These are authentic fiestas in the broadest meaning of the word; probably of religious origin, its goes back to the beginnings of the 14th century when each 23rd June was celebrated by pilgrimage to the Sant Joan de Misa church. At a distance of around eight kilometres from the town made it necessary to ride by horse. With the pass of time these reunions developed the practise of equestrian games represented by the different social layers of the society.
The festivity currently preserves intact the entire essence of the protocol held centuries ago. These rituals have been preserved thanks to the oral customs handed from parents to children, allowing the spirit of the fiesta to burn years after.
Although SANT JOAN is the best known, each town celebrates its festivals. In all these festivals the horse is the protagonist, and despite some differences in the protocol, fun, excitement, joy, feelings, etc … are present in its maximum expression.
The Minorcans are so devoted to their horses that even during the “fury” of the fiesta, these animals are treated with care and great respect. The horse becomes the perfect ally to witness a burst of joy during the celebrations.