“DIA DES BE” (The day of the lamb)
The fiesta starts on the Sunday prior to the 24th June, known as the "Día des Be", the day of the lamb. This is the name by which the Sunday preceeding the Saint's Day is known, the beginning of the fiestas. A countryman, mostly a farmer or a farmer’s servant, dressed in lambskin, similar to Saint John the Baptist, walks barefoot through the old streets of Ciutadella accompanied by committee of Caixers (riders), who are also on foot, inviting everyone registered participant to the fiesta that is approaching. . On this day all the members of the Committee of Caixers gather at the palace of the Caixer Senyor, where the fiesta flag is presented to the Caixer Fadrí.
Promptly at 9 o'clock in the morning, the first sounds of flute and drum are played by the “fabioler” (fluteman or herald) for the first time; afterwards, in strict order and throughout the day the committee goes round the historic streets of Ciutadella, visiting the Town Hall, local authorities, the bishop, the nobles, the horsemen who take part in the cavalcade, and other people and organisations.
It is the custom that the head of the house visited makes a monetary donations; formerly the proceeds of the day went to the Saint's guild to defer expenses.
The most notable personage, and who is seen on this day alone, is the “Homo des be”, a man dressed in sheepskins, with crosses painted on his arms and feet and carrying a year-old sheep on his shoulders; this is the living symbol of St John the Baptist.
Meanwhile, as from 8 p.m., the popular hazelnut party is held in the Avinguda de la Constitució, with the Banda de la Agrupació Musical that amongst other tunes, plays the well known Jaleo. When the committee of Caixers and the Homo des Be have finished all the compulsory visits, the caixers receive refreshment at the home of the "caixer casat". And finally, following the strict protocol, there is the farewell to the "caixer capellà" and the "caixer senyor"
Menorquino, Razza brava e bella