The vast and colourful cultural legacy of the island is etched into the character of the locals today and they follow this detail to tradition and authenticity passionately
The vast and colourful cultural legacy of the island is etched into the character of the locals today and they follow this detail to tradition and authenticity passionately; for example, the “Sant Joan festivities” held annually in the town of Ciudadela, and follows every meticulous detail, expression and meaning of the fiesta since it began. This fiesta is the second largest festival in Spain and centres around the black coated Minorcan horse and rider. Every town has a patron saint and every town throughout the summer honours and celebrates their particular saint; all the festivals are celebrated on the same lines as that of Ciutadella.
The islands cultural legacy can also be observed in any one of its many museums, such as Natural Museum in Ferreries or the Ecological museum at Cap de Cavallería, In Mao you can choose between the Hernández Sanz -Hernández Mora Museum located within the Cloister of Carmen or the Minorca Museum which is located in an old Franciscan convent.
On the west coast you have the Municipal Museum of Ciutadella, located in the historical building of El Bastió de sa Font and this exhibition shows pieces from the islands first settlers. Still in Ciutadella we have the Diocese Museum, with an exhibition of paintings from the 17th century to present day contemporary art and archaeological objects together with gold and silver work and liturgical art.
It is not surprising to the onlooker that with such a diverse topography and rich culture that the island has always attracted the artistic and philosophical mind. We have painters, sculptors, musicians as well as philosophers and writers. Even in business the island has forged forward mainly due to the insularity of the island and the skill of the local businessman.
The local festivities are celebrated during the summer touching every town. These local events are the best evidence of the islanders rigor to maintaining its ancient protocol, the starting point of these festivities are held in Ciutadella between the 23rd and 24th of June.
The Minorcan horse is the star of the show. But, not only can we enjoy the splendour and beauty of this noble breed; it is also possible to view breaking-in shows and organized races at the island's race course (hipodromo).
Another element of the local fiestas are the traditional music and dances, yet and throughout the islands cultural calendar you have many occasions to witness it, such as, Saint Antonys Day (17th January) a local holiday to celebrate and honour Minorca's Patron Saint; or the Festival of Carmen (July) when all shipping and cruising vessels take to the seas to bless the sea.
Rather romantic touches to the islands folklore are the “glossadors”, these men and women are lovers of poetry and they also have the gift of irony and wit. They choose a theme and then sing a poem based on improvising and humour – it is extremely difficult and only the true masters entertain.
Part of the islands heritage is her skilled craftsmen. Each trader is encouraged to practice their craft with the aim of passing the skill to others, craftsmen such as master woodworkers, wicker workers, jewellery designers, potters, ironmongers, cheese makers or boat makers. There are many studios and artisan markets open to the public, perhaps the best being the Art, Craft and Artisan centre in Es Mercadal.
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