The bonfires of San Juan, the symbol of Alicante
The San Juan bonfires in Alicante. Photo courtesy of Alicante Town Council
The bonfires of San Juan, Alicante's most important festivity, are synonymous with fire, giant papier-mâché figures, music, parades and an irresistible atmosphere of fun and high spirits all rolled into one. This is the best possible way to celebrate the coming of summer. We invite you to discover this ocean of fireworks, lights and colour, and to experience all the exuberance that runs riot in this Mediterranean city.
The light, vitality and splendour that invade Alicante throughout the year can be experienced more intensely than ever during the bonfires of San Juan, a festivity that has been designated as being of International Tourist Interest. Over several days the city of Alicante is filled with large papier-mâché and wooden sculptures (known as ninots), firework castles, mascletàs (firework displays), music and giant bonfires. A huge popular celebration which reaches a spectacular peak on the night of 24 June with the cremà, when the purifying flames engulf hundreds of bonfires and tinge the sky with orange.
Throughout the year, locals carefully prepare the celebrations that completely transform the city's streets. The ninots, genuine satirical works of art, are placed at numerous sites all over the city. It is well worth taking a good look to appreciate these colourful and original structures, as on the night of San Juan, they will be burnt and destroyed forever in a magical ritual. Make sure you get up close to these colossal monuments wrapped in flames. This is the only way to experience the unique mystery and atmosphere emanating from the bonfires, which are the supreme symbol of the whole celebration.
This celebration is deeply-rooted in many other towns throughout the province of Alicante and is much more than just a display of fire and fireworks. These are days of conviviality and spectacle, and feature a multitude of events for young and old alike, including horse and carriage parades, street musicians and carnival performers, the sounds of traditional instruments such as the "dulzaina" (a type of oboe) and drums, lunches and dinners with friends around the booths, musical groups, and the floral offering to the Virgin of El Remedio.
Enjoy the coming of summer in the best possible way, by experiencing the unique spectacle of the bonfires of San Juan