Festivities, Holidays and Traditions in Alicante
Cruces de Mayo in the Santa Cruz neighborhoodIn late April and early May in the neighborhood of Santa Cruz Alicante, Cruces de Mayo is celebrated. The legend says that the Emperor Constantine I the Great, built a Cross to protect its troops in a battle against the barbarians on the Danube River and miraculously they won. This made the emperor converted to Christianity and sent his mother to find the True Cross of Christ, who healed the sick people when it was touched, so from there the tradition was born. The first week of May the neighbors of Santa Cruz decorate their streets with crosses, flowers and ornaments of all colors to welcome the alicantinos and tourists and also to win the contest of crosses. The atmosphere is friendly and festive where lunches, folk dances, music, traditional games and other events are held.
Moors and ChristiansThe Moors and Christians is one of the most anticipated events for all alicantinos. It’s held during the first week of May to coincide with the weekend and is one of the moments where Alicante and the surrounding villages gather and there’s more social life. During these days people dressed up with their best to meet in barracks, gangs, clubs or groups of friends to share food and drinks in a very festive atmosphere. Then, after a while, they go out to meet other friends and acquaintances between music, parades, beer and people. It’s important to know that although the party has a very relaxed atmosphere, alicantinos taken at face value the fact dressing etiquette and respect the rules and protocol. If you go to parties and not know what this is all about, talk to an alicantino for more explanation.
Fogueres of Sant Joan (Sant Joan Bonfires)Sant Joan bonfires are one of the most famous festivals around Alicante, in fact, it’s a public holiday. They are declared an International Tourist Interest and an Intangible Property of Cultural Interest and are celebrated, especially the night of Sant Joan, 23rd to June 24th, but days before everything is organized. In Catalonia and Valencia it’s also a tradition but in Alicante it is a much more intense experience.
The celebration is to meet with friends on the shores of the Mediterranean or the inland villages to eat and drink together and make mascletás, firecrackers exploding forming a very loud and rhythmic composition. One of the most impressive things is the "Cremá" where more than 90 bonfires installed in different districts of Alicante begin to burn and ending with a spectacular fireworks show on the beaches of the city with the Castle of Santa Barbara and the sea in the background.