The bull and all that jazz in the Soller Valley
Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin
Tuesday 4th August 2015
Photographs by Rachel Fox
August in our neck of the woods is an alternative festival world. Three main Fiestas happen almost back to back and all last at least three days each. This means that nine nights will be filled with live music and the Soller Valley abandons August to pleasure. The shut down of businesses for August is an annual event and the businesses and banks that do remain open reduce their hours of working to mornings only. Of course for all those working in the tourist industry this is their busiest and hottest time and the idea of holidays or shorter working days seems like a pleasant fantasy.
The Bull arrived in Fornalutx this week and you just know that there is trouble ahead. The publicity of recent days about the banning of bullfighting in Majorca will have repercussions in the village of Fornalutx . The Bull Run is the start of the Fornalutx Fiesta and is one of the few Bull runs left in Spain . This event goes back hundreds of years and many local people do not want to give up their tradition. The bull is chased through the streets of Fornalutx and then meets its end in the slaughter area. The meat is then used for the celebration barbeques of the fiesta and thus it has ever been. A few years ago the Animal Rights lobby staged a demonstration against this practise. This year the additional publicity on the bull fighting stage has brought the plight of the Fornalutx bull into focus again.
The hamlet of Biniaraix between Soller and Fornalutx is known to many as the starting point of the walks of the Barranc. It is also the trail that leads you to the mountain foodie paradise of Gori – which is the Soller Valley ’s best kept secret. This was until the TV cameras and Yotam Ottolenghi arrived, ate the delicious lamb and learned enough of Majorcan cooking to include it in his latest cookery book and TV programme. This is a foodie paradise with a difference because you have to climb a mountain to get there and unless you hitch a lift on a passing donkey there is no alternative. Biniariax is a village at the end of the Lluna where Soller changes from its City status to country hamlet. The Fiesta of Biniaraix is from 13th to 16th August and the music is loud and long…
On Saturday 15th August the ‘Nit of the Art’ comes to Soller. The Lluna and the City centre are devoted to art and the place becomes a giant gallery. The music plays and it is one of the best street parties of the year. The creative nature of this place co exists with tradition and makes for a vibrant controversial edgy form of art. I would encourage you to come and see for yourself. This is an evening to put in the diary and make the trek to Soller. Galleries have openings and sjops and businesses serve fine wines and food to tempt you in to see the art on offer.
This event is followed on Sunday 16th by the annual Sunset concert at the Museum of the Sea in the Port of Soller . The combined talents of pianist Suzanne Bradbury and singers Fiona Stuart Wilson and Waltrud Mucher in the sunset setting of the Museum make this an unforgettable evening. This is the 7th year of this concert and is one of the highlights of our Arts weekend in the Soller Valley .
Sant Bartholomew is the eagerly anticipated fiesta of the Solleric. This happens from 21st to 24th August with many events before and after these dates. Indeed it is safe to say that most of August sees us celebrate this Saint. The fire run on the last night and the celebration of the victory of good over evil is the favoured time of so many locals. It is a tradition that brings many people who have moved away back to Soller for this week. It is a time of happiness and reunion and the restaurants burst into life with huge long tables for people celebrating their homecomings. The festival programme runs to a time honoured tradition but don’t expect the fine detail till about three days before the event.
August is a very busy holiday and fiesta month here for visitors and locals alike. To relax and celebrate the good things in life is the Solleric pleasure of August. Do come and join us for all our parties and celebrations – you are very welcome