It's always a pleasant surprise when a visit to a new place happens to coincide with a fiesta or religious celebration - you never know what to expect... and it makes it extra special when it falls on a birthday... Caroline's.
Over the course of three days and three nights the otherwise quiet and peaceful town of Fornells transformed into one hell of a festival. It started mid morning on Saturday and continued through to the very early hours of Tuesday morning!
Parked cars were replaced with market stalls, a bouncy castle and street food vans. Staging was erected in record time. Fire-crackers were heard in succession followed immediately by a ring of a church bell then the brass band started to play.
Horses with riders paraded the streets to a repetitive tune drawing in the crowds. Each rider took it in turn to bring their horse onto its rear legs and in doing so people took there lives into their own hands by trying to touch the horses heart. Apparently it's good luck! It probably is if you manage to avoid being trampled.
The 'Jaleo' is a spectacle that it not seen anywhere else in the world and the fiesta atmosphere is certainly infectious fuelled by the traditional drink of 'pomada' (gin and lemonade), to celebrate the patron saint of Fornells.
plenty of 'Pomada'! - celebrating my birthday and the patron saint of Fornells!
'Jaleo' was repeated again in the first evening and again in the afternoon of the following day. Both evenings then turned into open air concerts, playing until 5am. The finale was midnight fireworks that followed with yet another concert that played until 5am!
Each town has it's own flavour and scale but generally they all follow the same pattern and will be ceremonial (we missed that bit) and visual... and always with local traditional riders showing off their horsemanship skills.
The Spanish certainly know how to party and no wonder they need their siestas!! Meanwhile we are slowly turning nocturnal!