Festivities, folklore & market
The town's municipal market, opened in 1952, is located very close to the church. The traditional street market takes place every Saturday morning (and during peak tourist periods also on Sundays) in and around the Plaza and offers a wide variety of food, plants, handicrafts, clothes, etc. Saturday mornings are the best time to enjoy the festive and lively atmosphere of Sóller. The port of Sóller also has a street market on Thursday mornings.
The "Ball de bot" is a set of traditional dances from Mallorca and Menorca that were introduced to the islands in the 17th and 18th centuries. At first they were of courtly and gallant origin, and were danced in theatrical performances. The popular classes soon adopted these dances. They consists in a few dance moves: fandango, jota, bolero and "la mateixa i el copeo". The costume has not changed much over the centuries, and consists on the one hand of wide trousers that are gathered at the knee, a long-sleeved white shirt and an armilla for men, and on the other hand of petticoats, a skirt and the "rebosillo" (a piece of clothing that covers the head, shoulders, chest and back and ends in a point at the waist) for women.
The music of the "ball de bot" plays a fundamental role, and the musical group consists of traditional instruments such as the xeremia or the ximbomba, typical of the island, among others.
Sant Antoni, the patron saint of animals, is celebrated on 16 January. Bonfires called "foguerons" are lit and the people gather around this bonfire to drink and sing traditional songs. In the middle of winter, it is a good way to celebrate outdoors and enjoy with friends and family without being cold.
As a result of the sacking that Sóller suffered in 1561, "Es Firó" is celebrated every year. A Moorish and Christian festival that commemorates the brave resistance of the Sollerics against the attack of the Saracen pirates. On this day the town dresses up for the occasion, the streets are decorated with flags and all the inhabitants wear period clothing. Four battles are re-enacted throughout the day and the festival ends with all the people gathered in the square with a speech by Captain Angelats. Finally, "La Balanguera", the anthem of Mallorca, is sung. However, if you are planning to go and see this festival but you are not going to wear the traditional costume, we recommend that you do not wear your best clothes, as you will probably end up stained with the black paint of the Moors.
Another annual event is the "Fira de la Taronja" or the orange festival, between the end of May and the beginning of April. Organised by the town councils of Sóller, Port de Sóller and Fornalutx, this fair is based on gastronomic days where the orange is the protagonist. You can taste different traditional recipes, liqueurs, sweets, and the restaurants offer creative tasting menus based on this fruit. There are also cultural activities of all kinds for adults and children.
The eve of Sant Joan (St. John), on 23 June, popularly known as the night of fire or the night of the witches, is another magical festival with rites from pagan celebrations. The summer solstice is celebrated with a large bonfire and a popular dance. According to tradition, you can throw a piece of paper into the bonfire with a written wish to be fulfilled and jump three times while burning the paper so that the wish comes true. Small bonfires are also lit on the beach of Puerto de Sóller. Traditionally, friends and family gather for dinner on the sand by candlelight and bonfires until midnight, when you have to enter to the water with your back to the sea and make a wish or throw three coins into the water (making three wishes) also with your back to the sea. It is a magical night to go out with your loved ones and enjoy the festive and mystical atmosphere.
The festivities of Sant Bartomeu, patron of Sóller, are held in August. Cultural activities and concerts are organised, as well as the "Nit de foc" or fire night, with an amazing fire show in the square known as "Correfoc", carried out by the Esclatabutzes who walk around dressed as devils using pyrotechnics. You can also enjoy the "Nit de l'Art", that means the art night, which turns the town into an artistic stage where museums, galleries, workshops and local artists' houses open their doors to invite all those who want to live a unique experience. In addition, the square is filled with art and the atmosphere created on this night is very artistic, lively and warm, perfect for an interesting evening accompanied by the musicality of the jam sessions that take place in various locales.
Every year, in autumn, the Port de Sóller Classical Music Festival is held. This festival is attended by musicians of international stature, the location may change depending on the edition of the festival, but it is always held in places with a special charm.