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Fiesta the Fornells Way

Summer in Menorca means warm sparkling waters, sun-soaked beaches, bobbing boats – and fiestas. Get a front-row seat to some of the island’s vibrant festivities by renting a villa in Menorca.

Fornells

One of the un-missable festivals takes place in Fornells to celebrate Sant Antoni Abat.

The Patron Saint

As the patron saint of the village of Fornells, Sant Antoni Abat, (in English, Saint Anthony Abbot) is honoured each July with a town festival. Considered to be the father of Christian monasticism, Sant Antoni is an immensely important and inspirational figure for the entire island of Menorca.

The Fiesta

The festival follows roughly the same schedule every year, honouring age-old traditions. If you’re thinking of attending the celebration while staying at a villa in Fornells, here are a few things you can expect to see.

First, on the Saturday afternoon, the town bells will ring, signalling the beginning of the celebratory weekend. Next, a marching band processes down the village streets, accompanied by enormous papier-mâché figures called gegants i capgrossos, or, “giants and big heads.” Ornately decorated to depict historical figures or town personalities, these papier-mâché behemoths are a common sight at many Spanish fiestas.

The event officially begins after the fabioler, or “whistle blower” approaches the town hall to ask the mayor for permission to start the festivities. At this point, the main act can begin: la Qualcada, or “the cavalcade” of black Menorcan horses and their riders, the caixers. A mainstay of any Menorcan celebration, these stunning horses are known for performing a dance called the jaleo. In the jaleo, the caixer, pulls the reins to bring his horse onto its hind legs. The horse then walks through the crowd of revellers, some of which try to dart between the horse’s legs and touch the animal’s heart for good luck.

Fiesta the Fornells way

Attending the Fiesta

Though the parade and the cavalcade are a key part of the Fiesta de Sant Antoni Abat, there are many other activities for festival-goers. There are concerts, markets, and fireworks throughout the weekend, as well as a fairground for the younger set. In 2016, festival dates are 23-24 July.

If you’re renting a villa in Menorca, you’ll be a short drive from all the events. We have some stunning property options not far from this small but vibrant fishing village, which make excellent bases from which to explore all that Fornells has to offer.

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