San Lorenzo, a festival that´s worth celebrating!
The parties celebrated in Alaior in honor of San Lorenzo meet all the requirements of tradition, excitement and fun. The town is decorated, the horses go out to the square and residents and visitors enjoy the music and the atmosphere. Son Bou, from the municipality of Alaior, also joins the celebration. Are you encouraged to participate?
They are celebrated the second weekend of August.
How are popular festivals celebrated in Menorca?
The first drum and "fabiol", a small wooden flute, announces the beginning of the party days. The "fabioler" riding on donkey back gathers all the riders, with the traditional clothes, and the horses that walk the streets town to participate in the "Jaleo" that will take place in the square.
To the rhythm of the music, the horses stand on their two hind legs for delighting of the assistants who animate and applaud them. It is the central act of the parties and is celebrated on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.
Horses are the protagonists. Many of them are Menorcan race: slender and dark. Noble animals that are trained to be among the people who come to caress them when they wait to entry on the square.
The riders pass twice through the square and, in the last round, the municipal representatives give them a green cane, symbol of longevity and a silver spoon.
Welcoming friends with good Menorcan gastronomy
The houses open their doors those days to family and friends who meet to enjoy the typical rich cuisine of the holidays. Cocas de verdura, pastas stuffed with meat or fish such as "rubiols" or "formatjades", or the tasty sobrasada canes that all children like.
And all accompanied by a cool drink that helps you alleviate the summer heat: pomada. It is prepared with lemonade and gin from Menorca, a dry gin that was first produced on the island more than 200 years ago under British rule. Some people add mint leaves and others prepare it on ice-ddrink, but everyone has it at home to share it with friends.
Carriages and giants sign up for the party
After the conquest of Menorca by the King of Aragon Alfonso III in 1301 it began to hold the first parties in Alaior. They had a religious origin and were celebrated in the Hermitage of Binixems until 1833 when the celebration was moved to the town.
Since then many things have changed and to the acts with horses, other festive activities have been added like the floats parade that takes place on Sunday afternoon. Groups of friends spend days preparing their themed carriages and their costumes to brighten up the afternoon with music and dancing as they parade through the Alaior streets.
The giant puppets and the "bigheaded" join the party. The giant puppets of Alaior are Lorenzo and Eulalia, in homage to these two saints. She is the patron of Alaior. For more than 20 years the "colla de geganters", a great team of people who care for and handle these huge and funny figures, make them dance among the children and the people who attend the party while they play the "grallas", a wind instrument similar to a wooden flute.
Horses and donkeys gallop along the Cos
After the weekend, it's time to rest. That's why on Monday morning people usually go to spend the day at Son Bou beach: a refreshing bath and a while in the sun, the best way to prepare for the "corregudes", the horses and donkeys race that are celebrated in the afternoon on the way to the cemetery.
It is a traditional act of the party in which horses and riders gallop with speed by a short circuit animated by all the assistants. Then it's the turn of the donkeys and, during the last years, have joined the races on foot of people who join this festive activity.
The music and dancing at night close Alaior parties.
If you have the opportunity, do not hesitate and discover the traditions and festive customs of Menorca. Have you ever seen the capers of the horses when they come in on the square?
More Plans with children in Menorca in this article: What to do with children in Menorca