Saint John’s Day festivities in the Balearic Islands

Saint John (Sant Joan in Catalan) is an important date in the festivities calendar of the Balearic Islands, in the same way as many other Catalan-speaking territories. By the eve of Sain John, 23 June, many towns in the Balearic Islands celebrate the magical night with the fire as main character. This date coincides with the summer solstice, the longest day and shortest night of the year, celebrated with pagan festivals from time immemorial.

Without a shadow of doubt, the Saint John’s day festivities of Ciutadella on Menorca island are the most important ones, thanks to the large amount of people from around the Balearic Islands and elsewhere taking part, and to he spectacular horse exhibitions jumping over the crowd, as well as an strict protocol result of a deeply rooted tradition, followed by the festival protagonists.

Festes de Sant Joan a Ciutadella de Menorca

Photographer: Blanca gc /

In Ibiza is also celebrated Saint John’s Day in almost all villages and towns, where are organized musical concerts in addition to the traditional bonfires. In Sant Joan de Labritja is where the main celebrations take place, and where it’s traditional to eat the “macarrons de Sant Joan” (Saint John’s macaroni), prepared with macaroni cooked with milk slightly sweet, cinnamon and lemon skin. The other most important celebrations, are the ones in Santa Eulàlia des Riu and Ibiza City. In Formentera the celebrations last the whole week in Pilar de la Mola.

In Mallorca there are celebrations in many villages and towns, in addition to Deià, Mancor de la Vall, Muro and Son Servera, where Saint John Baptist is the patron, and the activities around this festivity last more than one week. In Palma the 23th of June at night takes place a spectacular “correfoc” (a performance with demons and fireworks) in the Parc de la Mar, around the cathedral. In the village of Sant Joan is remarkable the fiesta “El Sol que Balla” (The Dancing Sun), which ends watching the sunrise at the small sanctuary of Consolació. At least in Felanitx and Sant Llorenç des Cardassar the 24th takes place the Sant Joan Pelós dance, an old tradition in which a man represents Saint John dancing and carrying a lamb.

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