Es Castell Fiesta
Dates, Maps, What to expect?
Dates, Maps, What to expect?
takes place in early 24th, 25th and 26th July is not an event put on just for tourists, is genuine different and much loved by the islanders and visitors alike. 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 parade route and especially the "Jaleos", where riders bring their horse onto their rear legs.
One of the first news of the celebration of the festival of St. James is the year 1786, when the people's representatives requesting permission to commemorate the festival of their patron during the 24th, 25th and 26th July. The feast of St. James is of religious origin and is reminiscent of the old * Open organized by the unions of different trades that were introduced in Menorca in the fourteenth century.
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.
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. Two riders will 'race' each other along a city street.
On the last night there is usually a spectacular firework display at midnight ( serious fireworks! )
Restaurants in Mahon centre 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.
It's all free of charge.
Es Castell's Fiesta is one of the largest three and runs over several days with different entertainments around the main square ( Placa S'Esplanada) and the two local harbours ( Calas Fonts, Cala Corb.) On the main square ( from 16:00 onwards ) there are funfair rides, big bouncy castles, trampolines and sidestalls. There will also be various live outdoor classical, jazz and youth concerts and a terrific fireworks display on the last evening in Cala Fonts/Mahon Harbour at midnight. All of this is free of charge. Full details (in english) in local papers and local tourist office (on main square) .
Es Castell Fiesta Photos
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.
Check out the videos below
Smaller children can enjoy many parts of a Fiesta 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 ).
Jaleos at the Fiesta take place in a tight space not suitable for smaller children or less able bodied people. Jaleos will be performed in the parades at certain points - tip watch/listen to the crowds and you will soon find out these spots.
Tip Most Horses and riders rest up in the nearby side streets where children can get close to the horses and riders welcome the attention and photos.
This year's agenda is often on the council website,but the basic format does not change significantly from year to year. The below guide is typical to help you plan.
This is for the main spectacles with the horses and riders. See the map for locations. Other sub-events will also take place during these days.
Times should be treated as 'approximate'.
Some of our favourites ...If you are a health and safety person look away now
Fiestas should be enjoyed for the party and the last night Fireworks. During Fiesta season there is a special "jaleo bus" to take revelers to and from the Fiestas at night ( more ) . Look out for timetables at bus stops and published in local guides and at tourist offices.
Remember your are a guest - be respectfull of religious and ceremonial elements, this is not a tourist event!
Visiting the Fiesta is not so difficult ( particulalry using bus / taxi to Mahon). Es Castell is a 20 minute walk from Mahon if you cannot get direct to the town.
comming soon- companies that will organise trips from your holiday resort to Mahon Fiesta