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Hogueras de San Juan

June 21, 2015

The week-long festival, Hogueras, has begun in Alicante, Spain.  It is a week of parades, parties, ninots (artful statues), firecracker/fireworks and to end it all – huge bonfires of the ninots. The first parade I saw was one with the folkloric dress.

Then there was a parade with fanciful costumes. The neighborhood groups compete and they dress alike for the parades and festivities.

There are small local parades through the neighborhood streets, with bands and costumes.  They are remarkably loud.

At 2pm each day during the week there is a performance of fireworks and firecrackers (bombas – VERY loud) in the main square of Luceros. It lasts about 5 minutes and has rhythm, not just noise.  I can hear it from my apartment which is a bit less than half a mile away, but I went to see it yesterday. There are fireworks but they don’t show up in the photos. It does get very smoky!

And it gets very dirty as there are thousands of people every day waiting and watching the performance, called the mascletá. It is a lot of work for the Alicante city cleaners with all the parades, parties and performances to keep the city as clean as possible and they do a great job.

The real highlight is the ¨planting¨ of the ninots – the statues that will be burned on June 24th. Each neighborhood spends the entire year raising money, planing a theme and creating these elaborate statues. Most of them depict social commentary.  Here are some of the first ones I have seen as they are being put up. The creators are still painting them as they go. They are placed in the streets and then the barracas, or party areas, are created next to them. Many of the city streets are closed for the week resulting in some traffic jams.

There are many more ninots to show and the very interesting people aspect of a traditional celebration – to come in the next post.


From → Spain

  1. Harry permalink

    Great post, very interesting. Good to see you posting again. Harry


  2. Wish I was there! It looks like so much fun!


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