If you stay in Mallorca between the 23rd and 25th of August, do not miss this festival. Sant Bartomeu reaches Ferreries with parades, music, giant heads, fairgrounds, street markets and a unique version of the jaleo (horse dance), which will give you a smile.
The horse is important for Ferreries (in Spanish: Herrerías, blacksmith), that even the name of the village horse commemorates. And this is no coincidence, as this community in the heart of Mallorca was formerly connected with the rest of the island thanks to the transport of these noble animals. So who is the main actor in Sant Bartomeu? You certainly guessed it! Since the 17th century, Ferreries has chosen the horse and the caixers (riders) as kings of the festivals in honor of the patron.
Although you can experience similar festivals all over Mallorca, the ones of Ferreries are unique. The flag is handed over to the caixer sobreposat (unmarried rider) and the singing of the local anthem begins, indicating that the feast starts. Then the candeletes (small candles) are distributed to the public. When the colcada (ride) starts, just after the drum has been beaten and the flabiol (pipe) sound for the first time, the caixers distribute candles to all the locals and visitors, because there is a belief that these candles will keep away evil spirits and the diseases during the strict winter days. And you will not see anywhere else that the Fabioler rides a donkey instead of a horse. As we said: Ferreries is unique!
Now the caixers retreat, the music sounds and the cabezudos (giant heads) dance to the joy of children and adults. The joy breaks out, and the first jaleo is executed. The jaleos are a dance of horses and riders around the audience. The feast of Sant Bartomeu lasts two more days. Besides the colcada and the jaleos of the horses you will still have fun with the move of the plumeros and the jaleos of the donkeys run by the young people with more humor than dexterity.
At nocturnal hour, funfairs and fireworks and even grilled sobrasada at dawn. The feast of Sant Bartomeu is a complete show.
If you can extend your visit even further, visit the Santa Águeda Castle: it was the last bastion of the Moors or relax on the shores of Cala Galdana. Both options are worth it!