Everyone likes a party and Es Firo in Sóller is the noisiest of them all !
Three days of history and pageantry played out in the colourful re-enactment of the invasion by Turkish and Algerian pirates of Sóller and their successful defeat in May 1561, the pleasure for the spectator is seeing history brought alive with a fiesta that is now one of best-known in Mallorca attracting huge numbers from all over the island and beyond.
Es Firó weekend takes place on 11th – 15th May in 2023 . The main event, the battle, take place on Monday but the fiesta begins on the previous Thursday with the investiture of the ‘Valentes Dones’ (the brave sisters who successfully held off an attack on their house by the pirates) at the spectacular Sant Bartomeu Church in Sóller´s main square.
On Saturday there is a solemn procession of hundreds of people through the streets of Sóller carrying the statue of ‘Mare de Déu de la Victòria’ (Our Lady of the Victory) to the church, flowers are offered and the Sant Ponc 1561 flag is hung.
Sunday is “Sa Fira” (The Fair) when the streets in and around Sóller are pedestrianised filled with market stalls, farm animals corralled and hundreds turn out in traditional Mallorcan dress.
On the Monday the real noise begins with “Es Firó”. A call signals that enemy ships have been spotted and the peasants set off for battle. At around 3pm thousands gather at the Port de Sóller to witness the landing of the Turkish ships. The raiders are met with cannon and gunfire.
The scene is clouded with smoke, swords clash with scimitars and the din of battle is truly realistic.
The invaders move from the Port to the town of Sóller being fought all the way, and the battle culminates in the main Plaza. The pirates are eventually defeated and driven off.
Captain Angelats, the lead of the heroic defenders announces the victory from the balcony of the Town Hall and the citizens of Sóller, drop to their knees and sing the official anthem of Mallorca,´La Balanguera´! A scene intensely emotional and a privilege to experience.
There are many fiestas in Mallorca but Es Firó is truly unmissable.
So, if you want to be part of something really special and unique, make your way to Sóller this May.
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