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Benirrás, Ibiza and the sunset drumming ritual

Why do people go to Benirras for the sunset drumming ritual? Read on...

Ibiza is a peace-loving place. The native Ibicencos are so famous for their tolerance that there is an actual phrase to describe it. “Tolerancia Ibicenca,” as it's cheerfully known, often cited as the reason why nobody is surprised when everyone is shockingly late (just have another Hierbas) and everything takes at least 5 times longer than you expected. Heh.

Seriously though, after numerous invasions and colonisations (the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Moors, the Catalans, the Spanish and most recently, the Tourists - capital letter intentional) the island inhabitants have become experts at cultivating a patient tolerance of other cultures. Ibiza herself, of course, has never invaded anywhere. Mainly, I suspect, because nobody ever wants to leave!

So it's not surprising to learn that the legendary drumming ritual at Benirras has at its heart a profound history, related to this generous spirit of tolerance.

On Sunday August 18, 1991, known locally as The Day of the Drums, many hundreds of people gathered on Benirras beach, protesting against the first Gulf War in Iraq. This anti-war gathering later grew into a huge, free, annual event, attracting thousands of hippies and peace-lovers from all over the World. The message was that Ibiza does not like war.

Sadly, due to ‘health and safety' concerns from the authorities, the event was banned. And since then, a dedicated collective of drummers have turned up faithfully, every day but Sundays at Benirras, to continue the tradition and drum together, wildly, hypnotically and inclusively, as the sun slips into the horizon.

They are joined, especially during the summer, by countless thousands of people, who sit and either gaze at the scene in wonder, or dance, magnetised by the tribal rhythms, intoxicated by the freedom, the beauty, the natural magnificence. People from all over the World, of all colours, ages, creeds and backgrounds.

Fans of the Benirras drumming ritual include supermodels, rock-stars and members of the royal family. It's really very special.

There's a big rock that juts out from the sea that looks like a massive stone hand with its index finger pointing to the sky. The sun sets just behind this rock during high season and unsurprisingly, it's known locally as ‘God's finger',

Once you're there, don't miss an opportunity to visit one of Ibiza's loveliest beach restaurants, Elements. Their gorgeous super-juices and cocktails are exactly what the doctor ordered!


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