News: The 2019 Las Hogueras de San Juan festival in Alicante

The 2019 Las Hogueras de San Juan festival in Alicante
Written by Inmo Investments - 23 Jun 2019

Las Hogueras de San Juan Festival
Alicante Spain, 20th - 29th June 2019

Earlier this week the city of Alicante marked the official arrival of summer with the 2019 Hogueras de San Juan (the Bonfires of Saint John).

Undoubtedly the single most important event in the provincial city´s diary, the annual celebration began on Thursday in Alicante and lasts 9 days, ending on Saturday 29th June 2019 with an international fireworks competition.

The traditional festival is deeply rooted in Spanish history dating back to the pre-Christian epoch, with an origin of burning old furniture in the summer to ward off evil spirits, and became formally constituted by Alicante in 1928.

Officially declared to be of international tourist interest, the Las Hogueras de San Juan festival celebrates the arrival of the summer solstice with a spectacular display of Spanish music, vivid colours, and breathtaking fireworks.

Thousands of people fill Alicante's streets to enjoy the remarkable fiesta which pays tribute to fire, and throughout the city more than 200 large satirical papier-mâché and wooden artistic effigies are displayed (the Fogueres), each of them a work of art.

The festivities reach their pinnacle on Saturday when the ephemeral statues will be paraded through the streets (a procession known locally as the Cabalgata del Ninot), and subsequently burned on the bonfires from 8:00 pm on Monday 24th June 2019 during the dramatic Noche de la Cremà (the Night of Burning) following a glittering palm tree shaped firework display launched from Alicante´s Santa Bárbara Castle.

During the festival many people head for the Racós and Barraques, tented bars set up in the streets with live music and dancing; or make their way to the beach for the biggest fiesta in Alicante and party throughout the night celebrating the longest day of the year, while firefighters shower the crowds with water in what is known in Spain as the Banyá.

The festivities are not limited to the evenings, and those who prefer to avoid the small hours of the morning can still enjoy the fiesta and find plenty to do and see in Alicante: paella contests, sporting events, a street market, and every day at 2:00 pm the marvel of the Mascletá - a magnificent cascade of daytime fireworks and deafening firecrackers.

And from next Tuesday 25th June until Saturday, an international fireworks competition will take place at midnight on Alicante´s Cocó Beach.

The Las Hogueras de San Juan festival is planned months in advance, involves thousands of local people, and requires complex management each year to produce a spectacular family-friendly show that is safe and enjoyable for everyone.

The bonfires in Alicante are kindled in advance with maximum regard for public safety, and are complex works of art in their own right. Each bonfire costs as much as €60,000 to create with the funds provided by a dedicated Bonfire Commission together with donations from residents and local businesses.

For more information about the 2019 Las Hogueras de San Juan festival, visit the official website or click here to view the event schedule (in English language) on the Alicante tourist information centre.

Note: This article originally appeared on 20th June 2017, and has been updated for the 2019 festival in Alicante.

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