Everyone likes a party but Es Firo Soller is the mother of all parties on Mallorca!
But its not all about stamina. Its about enjoying three days of history and pageantry played out in the colourful reenactment of the invasion by Turkish and Algerian pirates of Sóller and Port de Sóller and their successful defeat in May 1561.
The pleasure for the spectator and the participant is seeing history brought alive with a fiesta that has become more than just a celebration. It is now one of best-known festivals in Mallorca attracting huge numbers from all over the island and from overseas.
The size of the Es Firo Soller fiesta now requires months of preparations. Starting with the actors, who dress up as both invaders and locals in traditional costumes, the ´parts´for which are extremely hard won in a ballot that takes place each year just after Christmas.
The Firó usually takes place the second or third weekend in May each year. The main event, the battle, is always on the Monday but the fiesta begins on the previous Thursday with the investiture of the ´Valentes Dones´ (two brave sisters who successfully beat off an attack on their house by Moors) and an opening speech at 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.
On Sunday is “Sa Fira” (The Fair) when all the streets in and around Sóller are pedestrianised, market stalls are set up, a small farm with animals is set-up in the lower carpark and again hundreds of people turn out in their traditional Mallorcan dress.
Then the real noise begins on Monday with “Es Firó”. Starting with Mass at Can Tamany (the house where the Turks were repulsed by the ´Valentes Dones´) a call then 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 of 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 de la Constitució. The Moors are eventually defeated and driven off.
The leader of the heroic defenders, Captain Angela’s, announces the victory from the balcony of the Town Hall and the citizens of Sóller, numbering in their thousands drop to heir knew and sing the official anthem of Mallorca, ´La Balanguera!´The scene is intensely emotional and it really is a privilege to experience it.
The party continues into the early hours.
There are many fiestas in Mallorca but Es Firo is truly unmissable. So, if you want to be party of something really special and unique, make your way to Sóller in May each year.
Be a Savvy Off-seasoner, choose a hotel from the ´Sleep´section, click ´Book me a room´and you will be linked directly to the hotels website and the lowest room rate with, an added value MallorcanTonic Bonus as well!