Eivissa town turns into a vibrant centre of fun and commemorative events during the first eight days of August. This is the Festes de la Terra (Festival of the Earth), held in honour of the patron saints, Mary ‘ad nives’ and Saint Cyriacus, which celebrates the Catalan conquest of Ibiza on the 8th of August 1235.
Fun is guaranteed by the many activities on offer throughout this week of festivities: competitions, exhibitions, street music, performances in squares… as well as traditional religious events such as those that take place on the 5th of August, the day of the Virgin, and in the Sant Ciriac festival on the 8th.
The latter date commemorates the conquest of Ibiza by the Catalan troops in 1235, one of the most significant and popularly acclaimed celebrations. In the morning a mass is sung in honour of the saint . After that, a street procession accompanies the parishioners who file by with their flags.
Not all of them have these banners and the oldest of them, made over two hundred years ago belongs to the Sant Llorenç parish. Some of these flags have featured in curious anecdotes; the emblem of Sant Jordi for example, which they had to bury in order to hide it during the Civil War.
A stop-off in the Sant Ciriac chapel
The Sant Ciriac chapel, a small temple from the 18th Century is an essential stop-off. Below the saint there is an unusual, crude looking arch wherein lies a tale. Legend has it that the arch formed part of the passageway through which the Christians entered in 1235, led by the embittered brother of the Muslim sheikh of the time. Today the custom is to throw coins inside for luck.
The parade ends up at the monument to Guillem de Montgrí, with an offering of flowers and group dances, ball pagès (country dancing). On this same day, as dusk begins to fall, the villagers go up to Puig des Molins to take their berenada (a light tea) of pies, sandwiches and other home-made dishes. Live street bands, musical performances, and a spectacular castle of fireworks add the final touch to these festivities.
More information about the programme: Ibiza tourist information office
Category: Spain festivals