Hogueras de San Juan, Alicante
If you come to Alicante in June, from 19 to 24, you will enjoy the Hogueras de San Juan, the main festival that takes place in the city. The hogueras are bonfires built with papier-machê. About 180 hogueras are built along the city. Also barracas are built, where groups of neighbors join for the celebration. Every day at 14:00 there is a mascletá, a long series of firecrackers, in the city center. The last day, June 24, at midnight, a big firework with the shape of a palm tree, called palmera, marks the beginning of the end: just after the palmera, the official hoguera is the first to be burnt; the rest of hogueras follow it.
During these days, many streets are closed to traffic, so it is a good moment to walk along the city with no care for the cars. People are relaxed, there are many barracas where you can enjoy the typical food of this period: coca amb tonyina (a cake made with tuna) and brevas (early figs). There are also parades where men and women wearing the typical dress take part, parades of gigantes y cabezudos, passacaglia, etc.
I have posted some tips on local customs and two travelogues where you can read more about this festival.
The highlight of my holiday...
There are huge papier maché statues set up all across the village depicting the humoristic side of well known politicians and characters in Spanish history .
I don't know if the festivities begin the same way each year, but when I was there we all gathered in front of the church in the old village, at the count of midnight, the first statue was lit, and because it gets incredibly hot, everyone starts singing ''Aqua'' to get the firemen's attention to hose you and your friends down. Even the locals get involved, it is common to find yourself screaming and singing underneath balconies to get the same reaction except this time they are using huge buckets.
The villagers were very charming and were delighted to share this tradition with so many different people.
The children with firecrackers on the sidewalk, these immense works of art all around you, superb fireworks and people to meet beyond your wildest expectations!
We had a fantastic time.
Tou cannot miss the festival of 'Hogueras de San Juan' held every year between 21 and 24 June
In addition to fallas or eventual monuments made in carton and wood that critisizes the social life until the moment they are burnt the night of 24, 'la noche de San Juan', you can find an explosion of live, dance, festive and colorful parades, fires, typical food and a lot of noise