Midsummer Night's Eve, known locally as the Nit de Sant Joan is a magical time throughout the Mediterranean area, and the Balearics are no exception. Most towns and villages in Majorca will be celebrating tomorrow night but the place to be is Ciutadella in Minorca. The various events there, in which horses play the leading role, are exactly the same as they were in 1843, although the festivities are much older than that. The costumes are 18th century and there can be more than 100 riders. The horses are very well trained, and are capable of rearing up on their hind quarters in the middle of the crowds. In fact, patting the horse on the chest as it rears up is considered to bring good luck. Tomorrow's events include a parade in the Borne, where those taking part ride their horses three times around, stopping at Santa Clara convent to salute the nuns. Events on Saturday include jousting and games, during which two riders may link arms as they ride at full gallop, while others try to hook a ring with a lance, or break a wooden shield. And if this spectacle is not exciting enough, there is always the battle of hazelnut shells, in which 30 tons of shells are hurled about. All this is fuelled by the consumption of considerable amounts of liquid refreshment, mainly gin - not for nothing was the island under British domination for two periods. But if you have left it too late to make the trip to Minorca, check posters in your local village, there is bound to be something going on - just go along and join in the fun.


To be able to write a comment, you have to be registered and be logged in.

* Mandatory fields

Currently there are no comments.