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On June 23, 2023, Alicante celebrates one of the most exciting festivals of the year - Hogueras de San Juan, or the Bonfires of Saint John. This day marks the arrival of summer and the shortest night of the year. In 2023, this traditional festival celebrates its 40th anniversary since being recognized as an international tourism event.

Originally a pagan celebration linked to the summer solstice, the festival pays homage to Saint John the Baptist, whose birth, according to tradition, was announced by his father Zechariah with a bonfire. Today, this festival involves gathering on the beach, lighting bonfires, burning symbols of past memories or negativity, setting off fireworks, and swimming in the sea at midnight.

Alicante is one of the most popular places to celebrate, attracting thousands of tourists each year to witness one of the most magnificent festivals in the region. The festival week is packed with activities, including traditional bonfires, fireworks, processions, concerts, and carnivals.

To truly immerse in the Hogueras de San Juan experience, one must delve into the local gastronomy that’s in full swing during the festivities. Local delicacies like salted fish, baked rice, 'caldero' (a traditional fish dish), turrones and beverages like anise liqueur, mistela, and Fondillón are a must-try.

The city is filled with art as 'ninots', satirical figures made of paper mache, wood, and wax, dot the cityscape. These figures, often reflecting political, sports, or entertainment figures, are burnt during the 'cremà', the climax of the festival symbolizing purification and warding off evil spirits.

Whether you're an adventure enthusiast, food lover, or culture explorer, the Hogueras de San Juan Festival is sure to provide an experience that will take your breath away. So mark your calendars and prepare to dive into this magical celebration!

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