The bonfires of Saint John
The summer with its hot months is just around the corner and this means also that the most important and representative event of the city Alicante takes place: Las Hogueras de San Juan (in valenciano Fogueres de Sant Joan) from the 19th to the 24th of June. It’s an event of art, gun powder and tradition. We, the Elcano Spanishschool, think that this event is just a perfect opportunity to learn Spanish while experience the Spanish culture. During the festive days the streets are full of music, parades and a lot of happy people. Las Hogueras de San Juan are spectacular and giant figures made of wood or paperboard which are placed through the entire city and which will be set on fire on the 24th of June, in the night of San Juan. Ahead of thousands of astounded spectators the figures which were built during one entire year will be burned to the ground within minutes to commemorate the summer solstice.
In 1881 the bonfires of Saint John took place for the first time with the aim to burn useless things, which the people accumulated during the year and therefore to initiate a new start after summer solstice. But the governing mayor imposed a ban over the first years of the event until José María Py in 1928 proofed that the Hogueras are an important touristic attraction with an enorme source of income, like the Fallas in Valencia. The ban was lifted and therefore the year 1928 was declared to the official year when the Hogueras of Alicante, which are nowadays well known all around the world, took place for the first time.
THE FESTIVE DAYS:
At the Plaza of Luceros during the week of the 19th to the 24th of June there are pyrotechnic events, every day at 2 pm and they last about six minutes. The great sound of the gunpowder and firecrackers is hearable in every corner of the city. A lot of the interested people already arrive before 2 pm to save the best place between the thousands of visitors.
At midnight on the 20th of June in all districts of Alicante the Hogueras (figures) will be placed, which also includes a contest in different categories (adults and children). During the following day a jury will assess the different Hogueras and award some prices to the participants of each category.
Ofrenda de flores a la Virgen del Remedio
This festive-religious act is one of the oldest all around Spain. The Alicantinos offer flowers to the patron of Alicante, the Virgin of cure, during the 21th and 22th of June.
Desfile Folclórico Internacional
On the 23th of June thousands of people want to celebrate the folkloristic parades. The streets of Alicante are filled with people with their impressing costumes accompanied by traditional music. Every districts presents a different cultural theme with their costumes and participate also in a contest against each other. The parades of the Hogueras of Alicante were declared to an Event of international Interest.
When the 24th of June comes to an end, at the castel Santa Barbara (the highest mountain) will be set fire to the “White Palm” (a firecracker which is coloured white) in order to initiate the incinerations of the figures through the streets, which also means the official end of the Hogueras de San Juan.
Los fuegos artificiales
From the 25th to the 29th of June you can marvel at greats fireworks which be set on fire at the Beach Coco. This spectacles takes about 20 minutes and fascinate numerous people, which spend the last days of the festivity together at the beach.
Museo de Hogueras
If you would like to know more about this famous event, just go to the Museum of Hogueras in Alicante!
Direction: Rambla Méndez Núñez, 29, 03002 Alicante
From Thusday to Saturday: 10am to 2 pm, 6pm to 9 pm
Sanday and holiday: 10am to 2pm
Are you interested in the traditions of the Alicantinos? So why don´t you come to our Spanish School in order to explore our beloved city Alicante together? We are already looking forward to you!