A very peculiar courtship ceremony

Ibiza is known worldwide for its nightlife and the beauty of its astonishing landscapes. Truth is that before the island’s “boom” of tourism in the 60’s, Ibiza had its own picturesque rural traditions. One of them was known as festeig.

The so called festeig consisted in the popular tradition to find a husband for the girls of Ibiza. Boys had the opportunity to meet girls exclusively on the days of church functions or during other social events. The most requested girls were those with
a good social position. Some boys even showed up en masse at the girls’ houses to request permission to woo them.

Girls had the opportunity to go for a walk and dates with each one of these suitors. However, all interactions had to be under the control of the family, especially under the strict gaze of the iaia, a person who watched from afar the encounters between the young woman belonging to her family and her suitor.

Whether to ask for permission to court their beloved or simply go for a walk with her, boys had to follow a strict protocol during the courtship to be chosen among many other suitors.

Es festeig generated many rumors and rivalries among young people, to the point that some of them even ended up in fights. The courtship process could last for months, even years, until the entire family agreed with the suitor. To end the protocol, the young woman would go to live immediately with her fiancé.

R: Adriana Fernández I: Marisol Gabrielli