A Minorcan Tale: Part 23 Summer season in Minorca for Comedy Hypnosis Stage Show
At least now its the sheep and not the man that gets sacrificed
A Trip of a life time: Being the wife of a comedy stage hypnotist is not as glamorous as some people think: thank you for following my ramblings
One of my many happy memories about Minorca was the San Juan (St John) festival in June, or as Simon called it the dancing horses: it goes on for days and has many strange customs attached to it but I will tell it as it was told to me, I may not be historically correct, but it may be more fun this way…..
We knew nothing, happily pushing the boys on the swings in the town square in Cuidedella, there were a lot more people around today, and some strange little stalls selling some yellow liquid. Then we heard it, music, floating on the air, a flute maybe and a drum, it got steadily louder.
Around the corner came the flute and drum, followed by a donkey, decorated in flowers and coloured braid being led by a man in costume, behind him a young man walked barefoot (remember this is Spain, its June and the path is hot) he is dressed in a sheep’s fleece and is carrying a very white sheep across his shoulders, it is definitely alive as it was bleating, I don’t think I have ever seen a sheep so white, it had small coloured ribbons tied in bows all over it.
Four horsemen followed the procession, also in costume, “its times like this I was so glad to be carrying a camera”
We watched as they walked to one of the larger houses that surrounded the square and knocked on the door, it opened and they all went inside, (including the horses) after ten minutes they all appeared, and walked around the square to another door which opened then closed in their faces……….. not very polite.
Lots of people where rushing over to rub the sheep for luck, I thought this seems like a good idea and took my turn, an elderly lady nodded and smiled at me, then told me to touch the sheep helps to make fertility “many many baby’s”
I rushed back into the park and plunged my hand into the fountain, scrubbing as I did so. All those following this story will understand,,,,,, as a mother of four I am happy to stop there.
Ok so the story goes that the boy with the “honour” of carrying the sheep barefoot through the street in 30 degrees, had a circuit of houses to complete, these house’s belong to the Mayor, council officials and people of long standing family’s, if they allow him to enter they feed him and his followers with a drink and small cake, if they refuse him entry he must do the circuit again.
Now a couple of hundred years ago this day ends with the young man of honour being thrown from the tower in the port as a sacrifice ” after hours of eating cakes and carrying a sheep barefoot in heat I should think he would have been pretty easy to nudge over the edge !”
However in our civilised age… the man will get a good foot soak and massage and the sheep will survive until the end of the week, where it will not only be part of a giant BBQ but will also make up a good part of a special stew !!
Continues tomorrow: We join in with the traditional drink and lose the use of our legs !!!