Ibiza traditions

October 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The arrival of travelers from all over the world and the cultural crossroads that the island represents today have not weakened its traditions but rather have served to strengthen and revalue them. The Ibicenco takes refuge in his identity and his culture and relishes sharing them. The churches, the wells or the houses spread out over the whole territory make up an example of popular wisdom and the capacity to adapt to the surroundings.

The Ibicencos created their own model, la “casa payesa” or farmhouse that has endured despite the effects of modernity. They are ancient constructions that constitute the origin of very deeply-rooted customs such as meetings in the traditional “porxo” or porch or the use of the traditional mills for making olive oil. The Ibizan landscape is dotted with these beautiful, white-washed dwellings formed of squares of different dimensions that develop with new spaces according to the requirements of the family and are always oriented towards the sun. Even today, the Ibicenco’s nickname is that of the house where he lives which is more important than his own surname. The ancient farmhouses are passed from generation to generation and every attempt is made to reform them respecting traditional architecture.

Ibiza traditions

In Ibiza, the craftsmen find the person in whom they can bequeath their knowledge and popular songs pass from grandparents to grandchildren. In the same way, the “ball pages”, the traditional dance of the island evokes the Ibiza of hundreds or even thousands of years ago. You will be able to see the “ball pages” in the squares of the churches any festive day or at the ancient communal wells which shows clearly the importance that keeping their customs alive has for Ibicencos.

Historical research has allowed us to document that these dances with their choreography that repeats circles and the figure of eight are ancestral. The importance of women in the dance is notable, their costumes (the oldest date back to the 1.8th century) and the value of their jewellery: the “emprendades”, a mass of jewellery of gold, silver and coral that constitute an authentic work of art. Besides the particularity of the role of the man and the woman in this traditional dance and the beauty of their respective costumes, the instruments themselves also attract attention and, above all, the fact that many children and young Ibicencos keep these dances alive in which the tradition and the culture of the island are preserved.

Where to see “ball pages”:

• In all the churches of the villages, on the occasion of local holidays.

• In the dances of the communal wells that are held throughout the summer.

• Every Friday during summer months at 21.00 on the bulwark de Sant Pere (Dalt Vila).

• Every Sunday from October to May at 11.45 in the Seafront Ses Fonts in Sant Antoni.

• In Santa Eularia, during summer months, concerts of music and traditional dance are programmed every Saturday in the evening in the town hall square.

• Every Thursday during summer months at 18.00 in the courtyard of Sant Miguel Church.

In addition:

• During the Christmas festivities and, in particular, on Christmas Eve, the well-known “Caramelles de Nadal” are held: traditional music concerts that pass around the churches on the island. Also during Easter and they are called Easter “Caramelles de Pasqua”.

• The program of activities “A winter in Ibiza” also includes concerts and shows in the churches and cultural centres of the island. The churches are also the scene for classical music concerts during summer months (photo:JanManu)

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