Mare de Déu de Gràcia, the longest established celebrations
Throughout the summer are held in the capital of the island a number of minor festivals that precede the festivities.
As in much of the Mediterranean, is celebrated on the eve of San Juan, on June 23. During the festival of Sant Pere (June 29), activities are concentrated in the port of Mahon. There are boat races, festivals and games for children (capallet).
On July 16, Virgen del Carmen is celebrated with a sea procession that ends at the naval base port, where participants sing the Salve Marinera in honour of the Virgin.
However, the celebrations are the longest established of the Virgen de Gracia, held on 7, 8 and 9 September. The celebration of Mao or Mahon does not have the fame of the Ciutadella, but also very colourful and lively.
In the early afternoon, the city radiates joy with which giant paper maché, accompanied by the municipal band, whirling along the streets. Also accompanying them menorquines dressed in the clothes that are typical of the island, dance songs to the rhythm of castanets.
Moreover, at the appointed time in the festival program Gràcia and coinciding with the ringing of bells announcing the beginning of the celebration, the “Fabioler” is presented to “Caixer Batle” and requests permission to start the collection. First, it is given “Caixer Fadrí” and return to City Hall, where they make the delivery of the flag, and then continue with the collection of the rest of the “Colcada”.
At the arranged time, the “Colcada” goes to the Chapel of Grace to participate in the celebration of the “Completes”. To enter the church, placed on training from highest to lowest, according to age, the sound of fabiol and drum.
After the celebration, head to City Hall Square where the Batle Caixer Capellà Caixer requests accompanied by the beginning of trouble. When they finish the 3 laps of fuss, will be the “Caragol” through the old town, called “caragol the Pont de Sant Roc.
Dissabte de Gràcia
Back in the day of Gracia, morning, at the time indicated in the festival program, the “Fabioler” is the City Council to ask permission to collect the “Colcada”. Repeat the ceremonial of the day before, and it will look first to the “Caixer Fadrí” and then the rest of “caixers and gentlemen. Established the “Colcada” and delivered and the flag, cover the streets and village squares set in the itinerary. A little before the time of the religious celebration, the Knights left the horses and head into training looking to the Virgin. The Virgin is carried into the church escorted by the Caixers. First, come the priests and bearing the Virgin caixers, then enters the battle and caixer Caixer capellà and, later, everyone else. During the offering is distributed “aiguarròs. When religious celebration ends, the caixers return to the Virgin with the same protocol at the time of collection.
In the Town Hall Square, opposite the Church of Santa Maria, Caixa Capellà and Caixer batle openness to give start the jaleo. To the beat of the music jumping horses and the crowd of people crammed the square of the Constitution. All bars near the square are open and offer the typical beverage, condiment essential for the celebrations.
Musicians performing traditional Menorca’s songs caixer waged a reed each green and a silver spoon as a trophy. He then interpreted Verbenero songs like “Samba”, “Paquito el chocolate” …
Later, the aldermen of the Festival of Gràcia, and the town crier and personalities come to shooting, from the City, the famous “wineskins” to the crowd. Besides being a nice souvenir for anyone who manages to one inside of it is a small amount of red wine.
In the evening, they celebrate the “Corregudes” in Cos de Gracia. Participates are the same part of the “Colcada”. They compete in pairs and go around hugging on their horses.
At dusk, you install a medieval market that covers all the main streets of Mahon and is open until late at night. In addition, it also installs a show where kids can climb on attractions, dining and enjoying the atmosphere continue to Mahon.
At night, the port of Mahon becomes pedestrian. Are installed various scenarios in which tourists can enjoy various musical styles while tasting the best island food. The finale, with fireworks water, is an impressive spectacle unparalleled in the island. The fireworks will be held the evening of 8 and 9 at 24:00 pm.