Festes de Sant Bartomeu
The patron saint festivities of the Sóller Valley
The Valley of Sóller is known for the Fiestas de Sa Fira and Es Firó, some of the most emblematic festivals in Mallorca in which the victory of the inhabitants of Sóller over the invasion of the Turkish corsairs in 1561 is commemorated. However, if we are talking about fiestas, there are other fiestas in the Sóller Valley that are less well known than the Firó but just as special for the inhabitants of Sóller. We are talking about the patron saint fiestas of Sant Bartomeu. These celebrations are held at the end of August to commemorate the patron saint of the Sóller Valley: Saint Bartholomew. A patron saint who gives his name to the town's iconic central church: La Parròquia de Sant Bartomeu. For all these reasons, today we are going to talk about the fiestas in honour of the patron saint of the Sóller Valley, how to experience them and take part in the festivities and tradition to the full.
FRIDAY OF SANT BARTOMEU
The most important day of the festivities is the 24th of August, the day of Sant Bartomeu, but the celebrations begin on the Friday before the 24th. Friday is therefore the first day of the festivities and is one of the most intense days of Sant Bartomeu. From 17.00h in the afternoon there are activities for children and for all ages in the Plaça Constitució, such as the "Pal Ensabonat" and in the market square, such as children's workshops; as well as other activities such as cultural exhibitions in other parts of the municipality. So it is worth leaving the Aimia Hotel and going up to the centre of Sóller for a pleasant stroll through the Market Square, the Calle de La Luna and the Plaça Constitució in a festive atmosphere full of "paradetes" with handicrafts and so on.
After strolling through the centre of Sóller and discovering the local and Mallorcan craftsmanship in decoration, food and much more, we recommend you to have an aperitif in one of the many cafés in the main square and surround yourself with the atmosphere of the town. A unique way of getting to know the centre of Sóller at a very special time of year. It is worth noting that during the fiestas the cafés and restaurants in the centre are usually fully booked for dinner several weeks in advance, as it is traditional for the locals to dine in the square during the town celebrations, making it very difficult to find a table in the square for dinner. However, we recommend that you dine at Can Blau Restaurant, located within the Gran Hotel Sóller, a 2 minute walk from the main square and after enjoying a wonderful dinner, return to the square to continue enjoying the festivities.
After our dinner at Can Blau Restaurant we will head back to the main square of Sóller in a pleasant walk of less than 3 minutes to reach the Plaça Constitució and enjoy the live music concerts and DJ's that take place in the square until well into the early hours of the morning. Finally, we can take a taxi - located in Plaza América, at the end of Gran Vía - to return to the Aimia Hotel after having spent a fantastic afternoon and evening in the centre of Sóller surrounded by tradition, local gastronomy, good atmosphere and, all in all, taking with us a wonderful memory of the typical festivities of the north coast of Mallorca.
SATURDAY OF SANT BARTOMEU
The Saturday of Sant Bartomeu is one of the busiest days for visitors, as in addition to the "paradetes" and activities typical of the festivities, the "mercadillo" (street market) is also held, as it is every Saturday. A market of food, decoration and textile products typical in many municipalities of Mallorca. So a good option for Saturday is to take a pleasant ride in the morning on the tram to get off at the Market stop, in the very centre of the "mercadillo". In addition, on the 24th, the solemn mass in honour of the patron saint of Sant Bartomeu is held in the parish church of St. Bartomeu in the presence of the authorities and the "Valentes dones", very emblematic and beloved figures in the Sóller Valley. And although this day does not always fall on a Saturday, if you are in the centre on the 24th of August, we recommend that you visit the church to see it illuminated and decorated in a very special way, as well as to enjoy other events such as the open days in different museums. In the afternoon concerts are held again, such as that of the Municipal Music Band, and late at night, from 22.00h, in the little square in front of the church (s'Alameda), there are again live music concerts and DJ's with music styles from the 70s, 80s and 90s.
SAINT BARTOMEU SUNDAY
After the celebrations on the 24th of August, there is still one last very special day of the fiestas: the night of the "Nit de foc" of the Esclatabutzes: one of the oldest "colles" of demons in Mallorca - created in 1996 by the inhabitants of Sóller - which offers a great scenographic, pyrotechnic and musical show thanks to its demons and drums (Esclatadrums). The first part of the show is more theatrical, followed by a great fire and pyrotechnics display in which the audience takes an active part.
This show brings the Fiestas de Sant Bartomeu to an end, so we definitely recommend you see it as it is only held once a year and each year with a different staging and a different story. However, in order to enjoy it to the full, you should know several very important aspects. The "Nit de foc" is a pyrotechnic show with "demons", so the scenery, the decorations and the costumes of its members can frighten the little ones. Also, we must not forget that it is a fire show and that the pyrotechnic spikes burn. So if you want to enjoy the festival to the full, we recommend that you take the same precautions as the locals: dress in old, long-sleeved clothes and go to the fountain in the square just before the show starts to soak your clothes a little and avoid possible burns. On the other hand, if you don't want to actively jump with the "demons" and just want to watch the show, we recommend you to be as close as possible to the façades that mark the perimeter of the square. This way you can be away from the fire and at the same time experience the spectacle from the inside. The pyrotechnics also cause a lot of thunder and noise, so earplugs are not a bad idea. Finally, it is worth mentioning that the show takes place almost at eleven o'clock at night, so we recommend you to have dinner at the Airecel Restaurant before going to the square to experience the "Nit de foc".
Once the show is over in the Plaça Constitució, people head for the market square. This is the place where the Correaigua is held with the collaboration of the firefighters without borders. An event in which the firemen throw water and the participants can refresh themselves after the fire show. Undoubtedly an unforgettable experience to finish off the Sant Bartomeu festivities to the maximum! If you are staying at our hotel and have any questions about the Sant Bartomeu Festivities, such as timetables, tips or how to obtain the programme of this year's festivities, do not hesitate to ask our reception team, who will be delighted to help you.
INFORMATION OF INTEREST
|Advice on how to experience the "Nit de Foc" of the Esclatabutzes:
Wear long-sleeved clothes and keep them damp, wear earplugs, stand at the sides of the square if you come with small children.
Every Saturday in the main square from several weeks before the day of the show, you can buy merchandising, such as T-shirts or scarves, of this iconic group of demons from Sóller.