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Santa Eulalia Flower Festival

Definitely one for the diary and steeped in legend, the Santa Eulalia Flower Festival is quite a gathering.

A long-standing tradition in Santa Eulalia is the annual Flower Festival which begins on the first Sunday of May (May 05th) and runs for several days in order to herald the arrival of summer.

This is, in fact, one of the oldest (and certainly one of the quaintest) celebrations in Ibiza and whilst no-one knows for sure how old the tradition is, it does pre-date the fortress church of Puig de Missa in Santa Eulalia which is believed to have been built in 1568.

Prior to this, a small chapel existed on the top of the cliff in Santa Eulalia and, according to folklore, one year on the first Sunday of May, the chapel suddenly slid down the face of the cliff and into the sea. The service had ended and the congregation had left just minutes before, so remarkably no-one was hurt and the incident was proclaimed a miracle. Word soon spread around the whole of the island and from that year on, the people of Ibiza would travel to Santa Eulalia on the first Sunday of every May to celebrate this miraculous salvation.

This was no mean feat considering that there were no roads to speak of, but they made the often lengthy effort to trek to Santa Eulalia in their horses and carts and this became Ibiza's annual cart exhibition, which these days is known as the Flower Festival.

Legend further has it that the bell of the sunken chapel still tolls on stormy nights to warn passing ships of the shallow waters close to the cliff.

Today, Ibiza continues to mark the occasion, with a parade of horse-drawn carts, beautifully decorated with flowers, and the locals dressed up in traditional Ibizan garb taking to the streets of Santa Eulalia on the first Sunday of May.

The festival continues for a few days afterwards, each year seeming to last a little longer. Activities include live music, dancing, sporting events, competitions and, of course, feasting and drinking!

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