Bonfires of Sant Joan
The Bonfires of Sant Joan are the main festival of Alicante, officially declared of International Tourist Interest since 1984. Its origins are very remote, as it derives from the custom of burning objects dancing around a bonfire with the arrival of the summer solstice, as is common in all St. John’s Night celebrations.
The first documentary news of its existence is from 1822 when the mayor of the city forbade lighting bonfires in the streets under a fine of 20 to 100 reais while in 1881 the first bonfires with grotesque figures appeared. These festivities organized with the current peculiarities date from 1928, and were driven by José María Py, based on the Fallas de Valencia, in which he had previously participated. In 1929 the pasodoble "Les Fogueres de Sant Chuan" was premiered, which would eventually become the official anthem of the Bonfires of Alicante. produce that day but St. Peter's Day (June 29) to avoid coinciding the week of festivities with the feast of Corpus Christi.
With the proclamation, the festivities begin, which begin with the entry of bands and commissions, where the bonfires and bonfires parade in traditional costumes accompanied by the beauties of the fire and the bridesmaids of each bonfire commission with the typical dressed as a bride from Alicante, all accompanied by the rhythm of the music of traditional bands or dolçaines and tabalets. Afterwards the bonfires are planted, polychrome artistic monuments of cardboard stone and wood of deep satirical load, in the night of the 20 of June the infantile ones and the 21 of June the great ones, and they burn after four days after launching from from the Puig del Benacantil a monumental palm tree of fireworks that is visible from much of the city and most of the Costa Blanca.
Despite the origin inspired by the Fallas de Valencia, the Bonfires will have their aesthetic evolution parallel to the appearance of the aesthetics of Alicante. Throughout the holidays there is an extensive program of events such as parades, cavalcades , offerings, bullfights, musical performances, sports championships, among others that gather more than a million visitors. The party is lived on the street, where people can visit the most important bonfires and also eat, dine and dance in the huts and corners where you can also taste the typical tuna cake and bacores.
The party has its main party, the Bellea del Foc, dressed in the typical Alicante wedding dress, and chosen from those who were 'Beauties' of each of the 90 districts of the city which is the living representation of the party. In the days following the burning of the more than 180 bonfires, a fireworks and light fireworks contest is being held, which is being shot from Postiguet beach.
After the cremation, the banyà is also traditional in the bonfires of Alicante, which occurs when the youngest spectators of the flames of the bonfires ask the firefighters to throw water on them and they accede to their demand.
Bonfires outside Alicante
At present, apart from the city of Alicante, the bonfires of Sant Joan are celebrated with polychrome artistic monuments of cardboard stone and wood and with deep satirical load as it is done in Alicante, in other cities of the south of the Valencian Country, such as Torrevieja, Guardamar del Segura, Xàbia, Sant Joan d'Alacant, Sant Vicent del Raspeig, Dénia, Benidorm, Calpe and the Raval de Sant Joan d'Elx. Later, in the 21st century, Xàtiva would also start planting bonfires.
Bellea del Foc
Hymn of the Bonfires of Alicante
Celebrations of the Magdalena
Page of the Bonfires of Alicante Filed 2007-06-25 in Wayback Machine.