Celebrating hogueras and San Juan on the Costa Blanca
Things are warming up on the Costa Blanca and they’re about to get even hotter. In June to celebrate San Juan and the summer solstice, Alicante hosts a spectacular fiesta, the Hogueras de San Juan.
You’ll see a riot of colour in the fireworks and playful giant statues in the streets. You’ll feel the heat when these statues are set on fire. You’ll hear beautiful bands playing and the raucous mascletà – a rhythmic pyrotechnic event that can reach more than 120 decibels. You’ll taste and smell delicious Alicante food. Overall, you’ll feel the excitement of Costa Blanca towns during the fiestas.
What happens during the hogueras de San Juan?
The hogueras in June in the Alicante region is similar to the fallas in Valencia in March. The biggest hogueras fiesta is in Alicante city itself where more than 200 enormous papier-mache statues are set up. These go up in smoke during the ‘noche de la cremá’ or ‘night of the burning’ on San Juan day, June 24.
The fiesta’s origins lie in the tradition of burning old, unused or useless objects with the arrival of the summer solstice.
The celebrations include the mighty mascletàs each day at 2pm at the Plaza de los Luceros. These have to be seen – and heard – to be believed. It’s a stunning display of rhythmic pyrotechnics which are musical and magical to see. The sound builds up to a fabulous crescendo of 120 decibels or more.
In Alicante, another incredible firework show, La Palmera, takes place from the top of Santa Bárbara castle at midnight on June 24. More than 1,000 rockets are fired simultaneously to explode to form a palm tree which lights up the city. This display signals the start of the cremá or burning of the giant statues.
Throughout the fiesta there are plenty of bands playing, dancing, eating and drinking throughout the day and night.
If you can’t get to the hogueras de San Juan, you can find out more about Alicante’s best fiesta in the Hogueras de Alicante Museum in Calle Teniente Álvarez Soto, next to Rambla Méndez Núñez in the city centre.
Hogueras in Jávea and Benidorm
Jávea has plenty of events going on during the hogueras. The fun statues go up on June 20 with the cremá on June 24, just like in Alicante. There’s also a fabulous fireworks display on June 24 in the Plaza de la Constitución at midnight.
On San Juan eve, you can enjoy the Nit dels Focs or night of the fires. It’s truly magical as six bonfires are lit next to the former gates of the Jávea wall. Thousands of people jump over the fires wearing garlands of flowers on their heads. After this is the correfocs. The town is plunged into darkness and fire professionals launch rockets to the beat of drums. The following day it’s time to say goodbye to the fiesta as the giant statues are burned.
Benidorm puts up hogueras in three places for four days and also enjoys marvellous fireworks displays to celebrate San Juan.
Bonfires on the Costa Blanca beaches
On the evening before San Juan day, many beaches will be full of people celebrating this special day with bonfires on the beach. This is a very popular party and some people will set up their space on the beach very early.
At midnight, people jump over the bonfires to leave behind their problems of the previous year and bring good luck. Jumping into the sea also helps to cleanse the spirit – and cool you down if you get a bit too close to the fire!
We hope you fall in love with the Costa Blanca hogueras and other fiestas as much as we do and we let us help you experience the fiestas all year, every year.
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