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Hogueras de San Juan 2023: Celebration and Party Program

Hogueras de San Juan 2023: Celebration and Party Program

Hogueras de San Juan is a festival celebrated in Spain, particularly in the city of Alicante. This celebration marks the beginning of summer and is held annually from the 19th to the 24th of June. It is one of the most significant events in the region, known for its spectacular Bonfires of San Juan, which are a symbol of purification and renewal.

The festival involves various events and traditions that have been celebrated for centuries. The highlight of the festival is the creation of Hogueras, which are giant statues made of wood and cardboard that are later burned as a symbol of the end of the old and the beginning of the new. The statues are often satirical and depict local or national personalities or current events in a humorous manner.

The celebration begins with the plantá, which is the unveiling of the Hogueras. This is a crucial moment as the statues are on display for the public to see and are often visited by tourists who are interested in the tradition. The Hogueras remain on display for several days, allowing people to admire them and take photos.

Fun Time Celebration

The celebration of Hogueras de San Juan in Alicante is a grand affair that lasts for an entire week. The festival is deeply ingrained in the city's culture and traditions, and the locals take great pride in hosting the event every year. The festivities start with the official opening ceremony, where the city's mayor lights the first bonfire, and the celebrations commence.

One of the most important aspects of the celebration is the creation of the Hogueras, which are elaborate and intricately designed statues made of cardboard, wood, and paper mache. The artists and sculptors who create the Hogueras spend months preparing for the festival, and their hard work is on display for everyone to see during the week-long celebration.

The Hogueras are erected in different parts of the city, and each one tells a unique story or portrays a particular theme. Some of the Hogueras are designed to be humorous, while others convey a more serious message. The Hogueras are typically burned on the last night of the festival in a spectacular display of fireworks and flames.

The festival also features traditional parades and processions that showcase the city's rich cultural heritage. The streets of Alicante are filled with music, dance, and colorful costumes, and the air is alive with the sound of drums, trumpets, and other instruments. The parades are led by giant puppets and other figures that add to the festive atmosphere.

Throughout the week, people gather in the barracas, which are large white tents that are set up in various locations throughout the city. The barracas are a place where people can enjoy food, drinks, and music and socialize with friends and family. The atmosphere in the barracas is lively and festive, and it is a great way to experience the local culture and traditions.

In addition to the main events, the festival also includes a variety of contests and competitions, such as the beauty pageant, where contestants dress up in traditional costumes and showcase their talents. There is also a firework competition, where different pyrotechnic teams from around the world compete to put on the most impressive display.

Tradition of Hogueras de San Juan

The tradition of Hogueras de San Juan has a long and fascinating history that dates back centuries. The festival has its roots in pagan celebrations that were held during the summer solstice, which was considered a time of great power and energy.

In ancient times, people believed that evil spirits roamed the earth during the summer solstice, and so they would light bonfires to ward off these spirits and protect themselves. The bonfires were also seen as a symbol of the sun's power and energy, and were believed to have magical properties that could help with crop growth and fertility. Over time, the tradition of lighting bonfires on the summer solstice evolved, and in Spain, it became associated with the celebration of the Feast of St. John the Baptist, which falls on June 24th. The Catholic Church adopted the pagan tradition and turned it into a Christian celebration, and the festival of Hogueras de San Juan was born.

The festival first took place in the city of Alicante in the mid-19th century, and over time, it became one of the most important and popular events in the region. Today, the festival attracts visitors from all over the world, and it is celebrated with great enthusiasm and excitement.

Calendar of Hogueras 2023

The main dates are detailed below:

Although the celebrations of Fogueres de Sant Joan officially begin on June 20, 2023, some events are already taking place on earlier dates. From June 13 to 17, "nocturnal mascletás" are held at midnight and in different places in Alicante. The "entrance of bands" is also held, in which members of the fogueres committees from all districts participate wearing traditional 18th century costumes from Alicante.

  • June 18, 2023: At 2:00 p.m., "diurnal mascletás" begin in Plaza de los Luceros.
  • June 20, 2023 (Tuesday): The festivities are officially inaugurated and at 12:00 a.m. "la plantà" takes place, which is the process of assembling the polychrome cardboard and wood figures with deep satirical meaning. They are prepared and waiting to be burned four days later, on the feast of Saint John the Baptist (June 24).
  • June 21 and 22, 2023: The committees carry out the Flower Offering to the Virgin of Remedio, patron saint of Alicante. The flowers are deposited on a catafalque in the Abad Penalva square, where the co-cathedral of San Nicolás is located. The beauties and ladies from each district carry flower arrangements that are deposited in front of the image of the Virgin, installed on the façade of the town hall.
  • June 23, 2023 (Friday): Day of the "International Folk Parade," a colorful parade with floats, dance troupes, music bands, and dancers from various countries around the world. It is a parade where participants show the typical music and dances of their country, dressed in traditional costumes.
  • June 24, 2023 (Saturday): Day of "la cremà," at 12:00 a.m., a monumental palm tree is launched from the top of Mount Benacantil, which is the simultaneous discharge of hundreds of white light rockets. This marks the start of "la cremà," that is, the burning of the major and children's hogueras. At that moment, a large firecracker sets fire to the official bonfire in the town hall square. The festivities end with the popular "Banyà" (bathing), carried out by firefighters to extinguish the fires and relieve the heat of the public while they sing and applaud.
  • June 25 to 29, 2023: This unique fire festival continues: fireworks are launched from Playa del Postiguet at midnight. In addition, the Medieval Market and other cultural shows are held. These are days when people gather on the beach to dine, swim, and enjoy the fires.

Hogueras de San Juan is a unique and exciting festival that celebrates the beginning of summer and the renewal of life. The giant statues, music, art, and fireworks create a vibrant atmosphere that attracts people from all over the world. The festival is an excellent opportunity for people to experience the rich culture and traditions of Spain and should be on everyone's bucket list.

It is a joyous occasion that brings people together to celebrate the beginning of summer and the renewal of life. The festival is a reflection of the city's rich cultural heritage and traditions and is an experience that should not be missed. If you are searching for apartments on the dates of the celebration, please, don’t hesitate to contact us, we will find the most suitable apartment for you!

June 02, 2023

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