Alicante celebrates the arrival of summer with the Bonfires of San Juan. With a spectacular show of colour, fireworks and music, thousands of people come onto the streets to live the “fiesta” which represents the adoration of fire. To celebrate the beginning of summer, the Alacantinos traditionally go to the countryside to have dinner on the 23rd of June. They enjoy the typical food of the region and when the clock strikes midnight, they light small bonfires, dance around the flames, launch rockets and jump into the sea.
This tradition has been maintained throughout history and in 1928 was officially established as the “Bonfires of San Juan”. For several days Alicante celebrates this great tribute to fire when the true protagonists are the amazing creations of ephemeral art: the “bonfires”, the huge figures of cardboard and wood which are burnt on the night of San Juan. Every day between the 19th and 24th of June at two o’clock in the afternoon, a spectacular pyro technical display takes place in the square of Los Luceros. They are known as the noisy “mascletas” and it’s advisable to attend with ear plugs due to the deafening noise made by the firecrackers and rockets. Finally, at midnight on the eve of June 24, the highlight of the festival takes place: the “crema”. Preceded by a truly amazing fireworks display, the bonfires located all around the city are set alight to celebrate a festival of joy, dancing and songs. Meanwhile hundreds of firefighters drench the citizens with water, known as the “banyá”. But don’t worry, the party’s not over yet. From the 25th to the 29th of June, on the beach of Postiguet, a fireworks competition is held and meanwhile in the old district of the city a medieval festival takes place and the area is alive with different shows Nowadays, apart from the city of Alicante, the bonfires of San Juan are celebrated in practically all the coastal areas of Spain- from Barbate to La Coruña.
What is more, in 2015, the bonfire federation, in collaboration with the council of Alicante, decided to spread this tradition outside Spain. In 2015 a great bonfire was made in Gottenberg, Sweden and in 2016 Lisbon was chosen to hold the event and it was a resounding success.
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