The Festival of Es Firo in Sóller, Majorca, is one of the largest festivals on the Balearic Islands. It takes place every year, usually on the second week of May, and it is a riot of costumes, parties and fun.
Sóller itself is a lovely town in the Serra of Tramuntana.
But let’s find out more about the festival!
Mallorca is the largest island in the Balearic Islands and people from all over the world loves it for the landscapes and the culture. Indeed, the island has a long history which also includes some attempt of invasions by the Moors.
The festival of Es Firo in Sóller reenact one of these unsuccessful attempt. In particular, one that happened in 1561.
At that time, some Algerian invaders landed near the Port of Sóller, aimed to conquer the town. However, the women of Soller were ready to face them. In fact, they had covered the path leading to the town with molasses and waited for the invaders with ready-made catapults.
Some invaders were killed, others flee back to their boats. In any case, Sóller and Majorca were saved.
The main event of the Festival of Es Firo in Sóller is the reenactment of the aforementioned battle.
It takes place on Monday afternoon and attracts thousands of people.
During the reenactment, part of the inhabitants of Sóller dress in ancient North African Moorish costumes, with swords and rifles, and stage the landing of the Moors by arriving by boat on the beaches near the Marina. Waiting for them are other inhabitants wearing traditional Majorcan costumes and carrying stone catapults.
When the two groups meet, the battle begins, with the Moors shooting at the peasants. Then, the invaders move to the main square of the town, where the peasants eventually defeat them and drive them off.
Smoke, screams and gunshots make the re-enactment of Es Firo not only very convincing but also really noisy!
Finally, the leader of the Majorcan, Captain Angelats, appears from the balcony of the town hall to announce the victory. At the same time, people start singing ´La Balanguera’, Majorca’s official anthem. It is a very engaging moment.
In addition to the reenactment of the battle, the Festival of Es Firo in Sóller includes other events.
On the previous Thursday there is the investiture of the ‘Valentes Dones‘, two girls that represents the women who defeated the Moors. On Saturday, it’s time for the procession during which people carry the statue of ‘Mare de Déu de la Victòria’ (Our Lady of the Victory) through the street of the town. Sunday is the day of the ‘Sa Fira‘, a fair with market stalls, animals, people in traditional Majorcan costumes, wine, music, food, dance, fireworks and much more.
The Festival of Es Firo in Sóller is a fun, sometimes insane event. Moreover, it is strongly linked to the culture of the island. In short, it is a great opportunity to discover Majorca and collect crazy memories that you will never forget.