Sant Joan Fiesta in Ciutadella on the island of Menorca

Fiesta San Juan Menorca

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fista horseriders

San Joan Ciutadella

Our return to Menorca to photograph the fiesta in the old capital, Ciutadella – a photographer’s paradise! The ancient narrow streets are beautiful. Combine this with the impressive horses which are native to the island as they ride through them, rearing up on occasion, then all the elements are there for the creation of something special.

The beginning of the fiesta season on Menorca is on the west of the island. This happens on the longest day of the year on the northern hemisphere in June. The summer solstice is most definitely the highlight of the calendar for Menorca. The fiesta or festa San Joan is a popular event and many people travel from the mainland and beyond to experience the festivities in the old Moorish capital.

Early morning arrives and the streets are lined with the horse riders before they mount and ride through the ancient streets of Ciutadella. This fiesta is a real spectacle and one of the best throughout the whole of Spain. It is always televised and broadcast throughout the country displaying the importance of the fiesta in Spanish culture. It is therefore well worth traveling to see it.

They come in droves, especially from neighbouring islands and Barcelona and Valencia. The ferries are always full and it is easy to understand why. The atmosphere is truly the best one will experience. There is a story ready to capture with every turn of the head. As the day continues, the attendance increases. The old and the young alike observe the skill of the horse riders as they guide the horse through the crowd. The young and often drunk, will encourage the horse to rear on it’s hind legs to the delight of the onlookers. This is done by standing directly in front of the horse as it approaches. The popular drink is pomada. This is local gin, distilled on the island and mixed with Kas lemon.

We have selected photographs from the day and uploaded them to our Menorca Portfolio section and we hope they encourage you to experience it in 2023! Often photographs from Ciutadella are printed in house on fine art paper and framed for holiday homes across the island.

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