03 Dec Hogueras de San Juan
The 21st of June is considered the first official day of summer in many countries. In Alicante, the beginning of the summer is celebrated with the spectacular Hogueras de San Juan, a week full of music, art, stakes and fireworks. The festival is known to be one of the most important ones in the region and takes place from the 19th to the 24th of June every year.
Celebrations start with the plantá, which gets the Hogueras (giant statues which are later on used as stakes) moving and long nights in the corresponding barracas, white party tents with loud music and lively atmosphere. The statues are colorful statues, impressive pieces of art made of cartoon which in a satiric manner often represent important local or national personalities.
Small hoguera statue of President Rajoy
Very large hoguera statue!
The barracas serve as meeting points and perfect spot to have a drink with friends in the different areas of the city. There will be cooked paella sold during the day and happily dancing people of all ages celebrating during the night, with parties often lasting until the next morning. Traditional foods being eaten on the first day (día de planá) include coca amb tonyina (tuna empanadas with onion and pine nuts) and bacores (local figs).
Cooking paella in a barraca..
Avenue Alfonso el Sabio in Alicante city center
Another important event during the festival is the mascletá, an incredibly spectacle highlighted by several strings of fireworks. Visitors can admire them every evening between 8pm and midnight at the Plaza de Luceros and further enjoy the enthusiastic atmosphere around that area. What a sound!
Plaza Luceros during the mascletá
Almost ready to fire off!
Spectacle of the mascletá
The most emotional day of the Hogueras de San Juan is the day of the burnings, called la cremá. With the beginning of the 25th of June, at midnight, the celebrations reach their peak and final. The fireworks enlightening the night sky from the top of the Castillo de Santa Barbara announce the beginning of the burning while big crowds of people – gathered around the multiple statutes all over the city – are awaiting the first flames with excitement.
Several firemen control the process of the burning and make sure everyone stays safe. Once the fire is under control they will also start spraying water towards the enthusiastic crowd and provide everyone with a nice refreshing shower. The Alicantinos know this part of the burning as banyá.
The beginning of summer is a magic night and celebrated around the world, but nowhere with a passion comparable to the one for the Hogueras here in Alicante. Come and celebrate it with us!
More information about Hogueras 2015: http://www.alicanteturismo.com/project/hogueras-de-san-juan-2015/