Two weekends ago, starting on Wednesday June 21st, Alicante hosted its gigantic weeklong festival that’s been celebrated since 1822. Les Fogueres de San Joan (Fires of Saint John the Baptist) are prepared all over the city weeks before. It’s pretty much where people build these large structures of art (el arte efímero o el carton piedra) and place them all over the city and on the last day of the festivals, they burn these large structures down. The tradition has been going on for quite some time, and for me, this was an experience unlike any other. The heat that came from those statues was so incredibly intense, that the firefighters would spray the crowds with their hoses and let me tell you, my friends and I got SOAKED. It was honestly one of the most fun and interesting traditions I was able to partake in.
Now this was not the only part of the tradition.
All weeklong they had bands and musicians go around the city playing music, they had the streets lit up, they had a floral procession to the Virgin Mary in the Co-cathedral, they had DJ’s every night until 4 or 5 a.m. playing music, they had the beach night (where it was tradition to stick your feet in the water for good luck and also jump over small bonfires for good luck), and last but not least, they had a fireworks competition shortly after that week. Needless to say, the last two weeks of my study abroad were filled with so many different activities and incredible experiences that I can honestly say I would never experience anywhere else. Alicante was such an amazing opportunity and to see this fun tradition and to live it out was a blessing.
If you would like to learn more about the traditions, please check this official link out: http://www.hogueras.es/categoria/tradicion/
If you ever get the chance to travel to Alicante, plan it at this time. I guarantee you wont regret it!