Sailing trip to visit the Fiestas de Sant Joan in Ciutadella
Ah! We can’t wait for the coming of June, with its warmth and the best conditions to sail in the Mediterranean, so, like every year, for the festivity of San Juan (20 — 25 June) we set sail from Sitges (Barcelona) to Menorca on board a beautiful and extremely confortable 15-m sailboat for 12 people, with 5 cabins, 3 bathrooms, kitchen and common room to enjoy the famous Fiestas de Sant Joan in Ciutadella.
The Sant Joan festivities are now an extremely popular party, certainly the most popular of the island, which attracts large numbers of foreigners and dragging behind them our enthusiasm. Three days La Fiesta Sant Joan include: on ”d’es be”, the vigil and the day of Sant Joan
Awaiting us are dolphins, sunsets, stars, coves with pure white sand and turquoise waters and the experience of living a tremendous popular event combining traditions and colour with horses as protagonists.
During our Sailing trip We will also visit the marvellous southern coves; Son Saura, Macarella, Turketa, Trebaluger, etc. where you can swim, sunbathe, Snorkel…,Wow! Total relaxation surrounded by colour and nature.
- Day 1:
We’ll meet up Port D’Aiguadolç in Sitges (Beautiful town near Barcelona) at 19h. All introductions will be made, our Skipper will give you all the details and we’ll organise the joint purchase of food and drink, share out the cabins and set sail for the south. The Big Blue Sea is awaiting us!We’ll enjoy the sunset and the immense sky full of stars while sailing. It is also normal to be visited by dolphins while sailing.
- Day 2:
Arrival in Menorca in the morning to begin visiting the coves of Trebaluger, Turketa and Macarella to experience the rustic nature of the island from another perspective and we´ll anchor at one of them to spend the night.
- Day 3:
In the morning we will go to Son Saura Cove and first thing in the afternoon set sail to Ciutadella Port to anchor and prepare to visit the city and enjoy the Fiestas. Horses and more horses fill the streets full of popular revelry. In the evening: Dinner in “Es Moli des Comte” and then drinks and typical “pomadas” in “Es Pla”.
- Day 4:
After breakfast, we set sail northwards to spend a relaxing day sunbathing and swimming to recover from so much excitement, and in the evening we set sail to Barcelona, contemplating the sunset on the port side.
- Day 5:
Back to Barcelona. Enjoying again the immense sea and the sunrise during the sailing trip with high sea swimming and more dolphins. Arriving in Sitges (Barcelona) in the early afternoon to finish off with a fantastic Sant Joan festival that you will never forget.
History of Sant Joan festivities in Ciutadella
The origins of the Sant Joan festivities in Ciutadella date back for centuries. According to historians’ investigations, the birth of the festival is linked to the Sant Joan d’Artrutx chapel, nowadays known as Sant Joan de Missa. Everyone who takes part directly in the fiesta is dressed in rigorously formal attire, and the most outstanding are those who make up the committee of Caixers. These represent the ancient Ciutadella society: nobility (caixer senyor), clergy (caixer capellà), artisans (caixers menestrals) and farmworkers (caixers pagesos). The “flabioler”, that accompanies the committee of Caixers, is in charge of announcing the orders with the drum and whistle during the festivities.
The day of the lamb
Even though the festivies feature other outstanding activites such as the night of the “festers” and the Vigil of the Lamb, the “Festes de Sant Joan” in the strict definition begin on the Day of the Lamb, that takes place the Sunday prior the Saint’s day. This particular day, the members of the committee of Caixers gather together at the palace of the “caixer senyor”, where the latter hands over the flag to the “caixer fadrí”. At 9 a.m., following the usual ritual, the “flabioler” is heard for the first time on the pipe and drum; and throughout the day the group goes round the historic streets of Ciutadella, visiting the Town Hall, the Palau Episcopal, the performance of the light opereta “Foc i Fum”, the municipal hospital, the social entities, the manor houses and cavaliers’ inns.
The most spectacular person, who can only be seen on this day, accompanying the committee of Caixers for the traditional collection, is the Homo des Be: a man who represents St. John the Baptist, dressed in lambskins, with crosses painted on his hands and feet, carrying a live lamb on his shoulders.
Meanwhile, as from 8 p.m., the popular hazelnut party is held in the Avinguda de la Constitució, with the Banda de la Agrupació Musical that amongst other tunes, plays the well known Jaleo. When the committee of Caixers and the Homo des Be have finished all the compulsory visits, the caixers receive refreshment at the home of the “caixer casat”. And finally, following the strict protocol, there is the farewell to the “caixer capellà” and the “caixer senyor”.
Sant Joan’s eve
After the Day of the Lamb, the festivities continue on the Sant Joan’s eve, June 23rd, at 2 p.m., the moment when the “flabioler”, riding an ass, goes to the palace of the “caixer senyor”, to ask for permission to start the fiesta. Immediately afterwards, the piper starts the gathering of “caixers i cavallers” following the customary rituals. As from this moment, the horses and their riders become the stars of this emblematic celebration.
Of the events for the Sant Joan’s eve, the most spectacular and colourful are the Caragol des Born accompanied by the Music Band and the emotional Vespres in the chapel of Sant Joan de Missa. The programme for this day is completed by the Hazelnut party, the Corregudes a sa Plaça, the Caragol de Santa Clara, the farewell on horseback to the “caixer capellà” and the “caixer senyor”, the drink for the “caixers” and “cavallers” in the house of the “caixer senyor” and, finally, the farewell to the “caixer capellà”.
The day of Sant Joan
On the Day of Sant Joan, June 24th, at 8 a.m., the piper asks permission from the “caixer senyor” to start the gathering again and once the “qualcada” is completed, they hold the trials of the Jocs des Pla, the Corregudes de Sa Plaça and the Caragol de Santa Clara. The morning’s programme ends with the solemn Mass of Caixers in the Cathedral, the drink for the “caixers” and “cavallers” in the home of the “caixer capellà” and the formal farewells.
In the evening, the “qualcada” descends to the Pla, where the town councillors await, who have been invited especially to preside the games. After the first “Caragol” the games of “s’ensortilla”, “carotes” and “córrer abraçats” take place. Once the games finish, there is the last “caragol” followed by the Corregudes de Sa Plaça and the Caragol de Santa Clara. Finally, there is the farewell on horseback to the “caixer capellà” and the “caixer senyor”, the drink for the “caixers” and “cavallers” in the at the “caixer senyor’s” home, the farewell on foot to the “caixer capellà”, and the last piping by the “flabiol”, that will mark the end of the fiestas.
Infomation and Reservations