Moors and Christians, relive the most popular Majorcan battle!
At three in the afternoon bells ring alerting the city of Sóller of enemy ships on the horizon. It is the Monday after the 2nd May and Es Firó is starting, a celebration to commemorate the valiant resistance of the Solleric people against the Saracen pirate attack in 1561.
This feat, celebrated every year by all the citizens of Sóller, will take you back to a pivotal moment in the history of this beautiful place located in a valley of the Tramuntana Mountains, a World Heritage Site. Es Firó, let’s go!
Farmers wearing traditional clothing, gather in the Plaça dels Estiradors, in the centre of Sóller, ready for battle. Captain Angelats prays to the Mare de Déu de la Victòria and encourages the peasants of Sóller with the chant “A la lluita sollerics!”.
Take the tram to the port where the first battle took place, on Can Generós beach, where Saracen troops with their faces painted black and sword in hand try to disembark. The Solleric peasants armed with shotguns hold the first attack in an intense battle followed closely by onlookers who observe astonished by the fervour of the participants.
The second attack takes place on Repic beach, always under the steady gaze of spectators cheering their favourite side on at the sound of music heard in all the streets and plazas. Under the command of the Moor King, the Saracens manage to gain ground, heading towards the town of Sóller across the iconic Barona Bridge while looting along the way. At that point the Valentes Dones appear, two sisters represented by young Sollerics, and manage to defend their home by killing the enemy pirate.
Looting results in a tough final battle staged in the main plaza of Sóller, where the Sollerics come out as winners among the sound of shotguns firing and the smell of gunpowder.
After the battle, Moors and Christians sing La Balanqueratogether, now a Majorcan anthem, in a unique and emotional moment that is continued with a big party throughout the night. An event not to be missed!