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Salinas Salt Fair : I Feria De La Sal

  • Ses Salines
  • Saturday 29th October 2016

26/10/2016, Rhian Gibbs

“Yebisah supplies wood and salt to most of Africa”

Al-Makkim, 11th century

The famous Mediterranean trio of wheat, wine and oil, as the region’s most iconic products, wouldn’t be complete without one of its historically most highly prized and distinctive ingredients, salt.

sal-coverIn Ibiza the convergence of the Mediterranean Sea, particularly rich in sodium chloride (31 g/l, twice the concentration of the Baltic Sea), coupled with long hours of sunshine and a huge flood-prone coastal plain have enabled the Ibiza salt pans to thrive.

In the ancient world, the importance of salt as a food preservative led to the creation of the salt pans by Phoenician colonisers, who were avid great producers of salted fish, and they are still active today.

Salt was the island’s main source of wealth, providing income that formed the basis of the economy and enabled the university and the local government to operate. Improvements on the island, such as the defensive walls and towers, were paid for with the income from salt.

On the 29th October the island celebrates its richest commodity by holding the events listed below starting from 10am:

  • Salt pans and salt collectors

Until the 1950s, collecting salt was done manually by gangs of salt collectors.

sal-progThe festival will open with a smoke signal like the one that used to summon the collecting gangs, followed by the screening of vintage film footage in the exhibition hall at “La Nave” salt pans, with commentary by a former worker.

The main festival event will take place at 1 pm with a demonstration of manual salt collecting by a gang at the salt pans.

  • History

The tower of Torre de sa Sal Rossa, which protects the old salt jetty, will be the setting for a dramatised tour held throughout the morning, and Antoni Ferrer Abarzuza will be giving an introduction to the history of the salt pans in the exhibition hall at “La Nave” salt pans.

  • Nature

The nature park of ses Salines d’Eivissa i Formentera is the nature reserve with the greatest wealth and value of all the Pitiuses Islands for its enormous biodiversity and unique ecosystems. Guided tours of the salt pans interpretation centre will be highlighting its most iconic features.

  • Tradition and gastronomy

Country dancing by the Grup Folklòric at Sant Jordi at Pou des Carbó, a heritage site that has supplied water since 1735 right through to the present day and was used for salt collecting work.

sal-mapThis will be followed by the ancient Christian ritual of “Salpassa”. In which the local priest would go round the houses in his parish at Easter time, leaving a little holy water and salt on the doorstep.

At the end, there will be a demonstration and talk about the traditional uses of salt as a preservative for olives, bones and dried fish.

To finish, everyone will have the chance to taste a traditional dish prepared with salted bones, known as “ossos amb col” (bones with cabbage), a warming winter meal.

  • Parking is free and transport is free between the different locations. For the exact times and locations of these events please check the programme available to download on the Ibizan website
  • view/download the programme pdf below (due top the unusual format dimensions it may be easier to download the pdf)

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