Black is the symbol of the Minorcan Fiestas
The origin of these celebrations can be traced back to Ciutadella. In the XIV century a church fund was set up for the village church of Sant Joan d´Artrutx, some five kilometres away from the town. The organisation included representatives of the different social strata of that time. They were called “Caixers” and they had to ride on horseback to church, especially during the vigil of St. John when an official ceremony was held. This tradition was kept year after year and gradually more celebrations were added to create the present day Sant Joan Fiestas.
Without doubt these are the most well known fiestas on the island. On 23rd and 24th June, Ciutadella is transformed. The streets are decorated and prepared to welcome the horses and the “Caixers”, who relive year after year this centuries old tradition that has become so popular that thousands of visitors come from abroad each year to witness this incredible spectacle.
All the towns in Menorca including many of the residential areas celebrate the day of their Patron Saint where the horses are the protagonists. The main part of the fiesta is the “jaleo” when the “Caixers” entertain the people by making the horses prance on their hind legs sometimes jumping off the ground, known as a ‘bot’. This is done to the rhythm of music which, although does not originate from the island, is now recognised as being an integral part of Minorcan essence.
Todays fiestas welcome a great many people, all anxious to see the horses and riders, that are led by sound of the “fabioler” (flute player) who initiates the fiestas with the unique sound of the flute. For the chance to feel like a true Menorquin, don’t miss an opportunity to witness this unique festival.