Not surprisingly, Alicante's famous pyrotechnic festival, Las Hogueras de San Juan, has a whole museum dedicated dedicated to the celebration and its past, present and future. Whether you're going to be in town in June for Las Hogueras or not, the Las Hogueras Museum is worth a stop!
If you're wondering what exactly Las Hogueras is about, here's a brief run down. Basically, the overlying theme of the festival lies in its name: hogueras (bonfires). It got its start centuries ago as a pagan celebration to mark June 21st, the longest day of the year. Households would do their spring cleaning by burning piles of junk, old furniture, unused items, etc. The religious aspect, as in the dedication to San Juan (Saint John) was added later by the ultra-Catholic Spanish monarchy.
The festival as we know it today goes back to 1928; piles of discarded "stuff" have been replaced by colorful works of art crafted from wood and papier-mache. Architects and artists slave away for months over their contribution to the festival, only to watch them burst into flame in the festival's culminating moment. Accompanying the spectacle are fireworks, traditional dress, smaller bonfires lining the beaches, parades, abundant food and drink, street parties and general merry-making.
The Las Hogueras Museum consists of five rooms throughout which you can see photographs, audiovisual projections, old postres and advertisements, traditional Alicante costumes, and a collection of the artistic efigies salvaged from the festival’s characteristic bonfires.You’ll certainly get a feel for the impecable craftsmanship and creative genios envolved in the process.