A guide to the Sant Joan festivities
The great festival of Ciutadella returns after two years of hiatus due to the pandemic. And we couldn't be more excited!
As a family of Sagitario Hotels, we have lived, experienced and celebrated the Sant Joan festivities for as long as we can remember. And, as we know that there may be some delicate moments, we have thought of proposing a small guide so that you can enjoy the party.
Sleep, eat and live Sant Joan in Ciutadella de Menorca
- Sleep. You should know that the hotel establishments in the municipality of Ciutadella are usually full during the dates of Sant Joan. If you haven't already booked, don't wait until the last minute to do so, because our hotels in the historic center have been full for weeks (a piece of advice for next year: book from year to year to ensure a very immersive experience at the Hostal Ciutadella or the Petit Ciutadella, right in the center of the party).
- Eat. On the 23rd and 24th, the restaurants in the historic center become places to recharge your batteries next to a bar and, above all, they serve drinks. In addition to enjoying Sagitario Hotels' own restaurants, we recommend that you try the typical sweets of this season. From the "pastissets" or "ensaimadas" with hot chocolate, to the "panets" with sobrasada, which are not lacking in any of the houses in the center that open their doors (we will talk about it in a moment).
- Live. The best way to experience Sant Joan is with a friend who is from Ciutadella or who has already experienced the festival. Beyond the spectacular nature of seeing how horses -many of them Menorcan breed- and people interact, there is a tradition rooted in moments that can become very intimate. And that you will only see if you know how and when they happen.
The key moments
We are going to summarize the main moments of the party so that you can go into it with a little idea. With a warning: the party is unpredictable, so the times are indicative!
- “Primer toc a Cas Caixer Senyor”. It is the only time when punctuality is strictly adhered to, and it takes place at 2:00 p.m. on June 23, kicking off the party's acts. It is a moment that is lived in a very intense way, so we recommend you observe it from afar and with caution due to the large number of people who gather.
- "Caragol des Born". In the Plaza del Born, around 5:00 p.m., the first "caragol" takes place -which consists of the entire procession of horses going around the square three times-, in which you can enjoy that interaction between animals and people in different ways. Very diverse, depending on where you are in the square.
- “Jocs des Pla”. The delegation uses the leisure area of the port to celebrate a kind of medieval games in which riders and horses are the protagonists, during the evening of the 24th. It is, without a doubt, one of the most spectacular and massive acts. As in the Caragol des Born, you will see that the energy is different depending on where you stand. However, it is an act in which the animals run at full gallop, so all eyes are necessary to be attentive to any incident.
- “Caragol de Santa Clara”. As we have mentioned, the “caragol” is the moment in which the entire cavalcade turns up to three times a space. In this case, the streets of the historic center that lead to the convent of Santa Clara. You can enjoy this act up to three times, in addition: the night of the 23rd, and the noon and night of the 24th. You will see that, in addition to the typical jumps and capers, the horses even get to enter some houses. Do not panic! It is part of the show, which is complemented by the typical "berenetes" with sweets and pastries that we have told you about above. If you are lucky enough to go with someone from the city, it is very possible that you will stop at one of these houses, where they will offer you to try everything on the table.
And some tips
If a word defines the festival of Sant Joan, it is intensity. They are two days, 48 hours, that are lived as if they were not going to return. For this reason, we recommend that you inform yourself well before getting involved in any of the main events, and that you do so always bearing in mind that:
- It is best to wear comfortable and resistant shoes. Yes, it will be hot, but when you have the legs of a horse nearby, it is always advisable to keep your feet covered.
- Although horses are very noble animals, incidents are inevitable. Always be very attentive around you, so you will avoid uncomfortable or dangerous situations.
- Hydrate well! The inertia of the festival will lead you to join the traditions, such as drinking “gin with lemonade”. Don't forget to eat, because the hours pass quickly between so much action.
- Enjoy the festival respecting its traditions. We have said it, but we repeat it again: nothing you do not know can become part of you. Living Sant Joan with a group of friends from Ciutadella can be one of the most intense experiences you have on the island. Take advantage of every moment!