Monday, 2 July 2012

you definitely want to read this post

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It contains hazelnuts, flying women, horses, and even a video!

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The above picture looks like Palestine or equivalent, but was actually one of the more bizarre features of the Sant Joan (St. John--summer solstice) celebrations in Menorca. Some of the traditions are well-known and part of the reason we went that weekend. What is less well-known is that they start everything off with a giant hazelnut fight. And I have to tell you, having hazelnuts hurled at your head kind of hurts! After the hazelnuts had been flying for a while, it was time for phase 2: hurling women in the air! Bands of men (well, teenagers) roamed around finding smallish girls and tossing them in the air repeatedly. This whole things was clearly a bit of a juvenile mating ritual on the island... note that all the girls being thrown are kind of cute (and they were all wearing a throwing-friendly uniform of shorts, some revealing top, and long hair to be whipped around). ;) I was told to keep out of the thick of things, but Albert waded in in the name of journalism to bring you these pictures!

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(note the hazelnuts flying around).

But this was mostly a time-filler. The real reason we were all there was for the horses.

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Menorca is famous for it's Sant Joan festivals featuring the beautiful horses that live on the island. In honour of the event, they're groomed to within an inch of their lives, dressed up in velvet saddles and decorative bridles and paraded through the streets. Or perhaps paraded is not quite the right word--this being a Catalan place there needs to be some danger involved. So the horses come down the streets and everyone jumps in front of them and the horses get scared and rear up and everyone supports them as they come down and chant and sing and get really drunk and so on. :D

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Much better than the pictures is the video. If you really want to feel like you were there, give it a watch (you get me laughing too--this was before I rediscovered my lifelong allergy to horses)!

19 comments:

Deppa said...

Que fotos tan bonitas, no tenía idea que se celebraba así :)

QUe tengas una buena semana,
nos vemos!

Emily said...

Oh my goodness, Menorca is gorgeous! Haha, I've never heard of throwing hazelnuts, or even women around! Crowd surfing is one thing, but that's a bit different!
<3

Emily said...

I know, it was kind of ridiculous. The horses were beautiful though!

Rosy (of Raindrops on Rosy) said...

OH MAN! that looks like so much fun!!!!

Annebeth said...

aaaah now I want to be thrown in the air by horny teenage boys! :D

Amber Rose, Laughing With Broken Eyes said...

Starting it off with a hazelnut fight-- that's such a bizarre but fun tradition. :) That horse is stunning, by the way, and you have a great laugh!

Sierra said...

These pictures are great! Loved the video, too. :) You should include more videos of your adventures on the blog!

http://viennawaitsblog.blogspot.com/

Terri said...

Flying hazelnuts? I would be gathering them up and stuffing my pockets full. Love hearing your laugh. The horses are majestic--though I would be afraid of a rearing horse in a crowd.

Hanna C. said...

now this looks like fun! even by looking at the pictures. wondering how it would be if I would be really there:)
btw, the pictures are amazing. love how you captured the colors.

chooohanna.blogspot.com

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@Sierra: I just might, now that I've discovered-gasp-that it's really not rocket science uploading them. ;)

@ Terri: yeah, it was ridiculous, hence the chaotic laughter!

Amber said...

whoa that looks awesome, dangerous but awesome

ZZ said...

I see you opted out of the woman tossing part, which was probably wise. Cool experience though, thanks for sharing!

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@ZZ: Yeah, frankly I thought it was a bit stupid, and also my horse allergies were making me a bit grumpy before the horses even arrived!

Ashley said...

I'm thinking I gotta find a way to visit Spain when I am in London...it seems pretty close!

Heather, 29 Skirts said...

Wow, Spain has the most amazing, craziest festivals! Thanks for sharing this. I have to get to Spain in the next few years!

The Braided Bandit said...

These are awesome. I would love to be a bystander, but definitely not one being tossed in the air! The 3rd photo is hysterical because all I saw was the girl until you pointed out the hazelnuts whizzing around! Thanks for sharing! Have a happy weekend!
x Hannah

Self-Dressed said...

what an amazing pics!!!!
Just found your blog and I think is super!
I've started following you on GFC and Bloglovin!
like to follow back? we could stay in contact if you like!! I hope so!!
kisses from Spain dear!!!
self-dressed.blogspot.com

dusanabotswana said...

I'm so glad you got that video, it definitely shows the moment better. Festivals like that really remind me that, despite all the regional issues in Spain and such, Spaniards everyone really like to celebrate the same! Or ok.. at least similar, I know I'll get lectured for that by my Spanish friends. Def feel a little bad for the horses though.
http://dusanabotswana.com/

dusanabotswana said...

hilarious about the teen mating ritual too!