1 Jul 2009

Visiting Hogueras

At last! I can finally sit down and finish sharing last week's crazyness with you! The problem with blogging about festivities I've discovered... is precisely all the partying! lol! Staying out late (and on my feet) so many nights in a row takes a toll on the hours available the next day... and when you've got a house full of foreign visitors here to take it all in, well then your nights and days get pretty busy! :p Not to mention unpleasant things such as work getting in the way... ;o)

So, back to business! But before I wrap up the festivites with the big burning on the night of June 24 -> 25, I thought I should give you a better look at all these "doomed" monuments. Looking back over the posts I realised I hadn't shown you much of the Hogueras themselves! oops! So I'm going to introduce a few to you here, and then come back with a few more posts on the biggest ones (my two favourites plus the big prize winner). I just can't resign myself to two photos of each for those! ;o)

This first shot was taken by my sister. It's the Hoguera Puente Villavieja (by artist Joaquin Rubio), Fifth Category (9 of these were made, price range between 7505 - 8939€), up in the oldest neighbourhood of town. It's the only shot I've got from this category, apparently most of the ones I ran into were all Third Category! As you can see they're celebrating an 80th anniversary...

Now start a series of Third Category Hogueras (so price range between 10926 - 15781€, there were 14 of these in total), as you can see there's quite a bit of variation in size and quality within a same category.

Hoguera Plaza de Gabriel Miró (by Fernando García), a bit disappointing, last year's was much nicer!

Hoguera Alicante Golf (by Juan Asensi). Title: "Brisa Primaveral" (Spring breeze). I discovered this one on my way back from an English class, I hadn't realised there were so many hogueras in the beach area, we're finally better integrated into the City! ;o)

Hoguera La Condomina (by Miguel Balaguer), a 15' walk from my place, 2 blocks from my parents', celebrating its 10th Anniversary and receiving a 4th Prize in the category.

Hoguera Av. Costablanca Entreplayas (by Sergio Edo), two blocks from my place! They won the 2nd prize in this category. Yay! Damn! I just realised I never returned to get some better shots of this one! The theme was "La Moda" (Fashion):

starting as you can see here below in the Stone Age! ;o)

Hoguera Explanada Puerto Postiguet (by O. Serrano). This has to be one the ones seen by the most people as its right at the entrance of the center of town, at the end of the Explanada (Alicante's famous paseo) and just in front of the Harbour. Theme was "El Día i la Nit" in which the artist wanted to show the diversity in figures, character, happenings between night and day. Quite a few funky figures in there!

And do you remember this one? Hoguera Plaza Santa María, theme "Hechizo de Luna" (Under the Moon's Spell):

Well they won a well-deserved 1st Prize in the Third Category!

As I don't have any photos from the First or Second Categories (next year I need to do a better job of diversifying my visits!) we'll skip straight to the "Categoría Especial" i.e. the most expensive ones (over 54122€, but limited in height by law to be lower than 20m) and the ones that people make the most effort to visit (there are 11, with only 5 being within a reasonable walking distance in the downtown area). I'll just show three here, the other three I saw each get their own posts (since I can't make up my mind to reduce the number of photos just because I'm generous that way!)

First up, a shot by my sister of Hoguera Mercado Central by Daniel Jiménez, 8th Prize in this category.

Hoguera Port d'Alacant (by José García). Impressive, yes, but last year's (which I saw burn!) was much prettier! I'm assuming the "authorities" agree with me on this one as it got 11th Prize (i.e. last place) for this category. The main problem I have with this one is that since it's in the Harbour part of it is facing the water and so difficult to see! Supposedly you can walking in it for 3€, but in spite of having been by there twice I couldn't figure out the schedule!

here with the Hoguera Infantil in the foreground and Alicante's castle in the background.

Hoguera Polígono de San Blas (by Carlos Rondón). 9th Prize in this category. Oops! I forgot to check for the theme! I drove out looking for this one as it was one of the three Hogueras to feature an appearance by President Obama (see if you can spot him! he was also in the previous Hoguera with "W". Don't worry if you can't, Obama gets his own post when I'm done with these). The nice thing about this Hoguera is that it was located in an empty lot so plenty of room to walk around it and take photos.

Only problem was it faces east... and I went in the early afternoon so the sun was directly behind the monument... complicating my shots! argh!!!

Can anyone I.D. the musicians? ;o)

Coming up: the Grand Prize winner Florida Portazgo and my two favourites Oscar Esplà (4th place, with some gorgeous dancers) and Hernán Cortes (3rd place. Life is a game of chess! featuring the Spanish Royals and Obama!)


  1. Anonymous1/7/09 16:33

    Great photos Cris!!! I think my favourites are the Hechizo de Luna and the Brisa Primavera! Do these stay put all year long?

  2. Awesome! They are so different from anything we have around here. I can't wait to someday witness it first hand.

    I'm so glad you took the time to share it with us.


  3. Sorry Rain, but they get set up between June 18th (the big ones) and 20th (the rest), and then on the night of June 24th -> 25th they all get burnt to the ground! Check back in a couple of posts to witness this. ;o)

    Lily, it is indeed something to live through in the flesh! I'm trying my hardest to transmit some of the energy in my posts, but writing and photos and videos just don't capture the whole "ambiance". The combination of sights - sounds - smells... The music of the marching bands with the noise of the crowds. The energy transmitted by the crowds as they wait for the fires to light up! The emotion read in the faces and bodies of the participants... ;o)

  4. Okay, here we go! The musician out front is Obama and from that I would guess that the other two would be Zapatero and Sarkozy. Did I get it right?

  5. BRAVO!!!

    Have I mentioned this before? Or do you just have a very good eye for identifying politicians?! The idea is they're trying to wake up the planet from the global crisis using music! More on that in a couple of days...

  6. Hi Cris, you said in the post that Obama was in this Hoguera and challenged us to spot him and then you ask if anyone could I.D. the musicians. I love a challenge and since I can enlarge your photos by clicking on them, I looked closely. Once I spotted Obama, I figured the other two also had to be politicians. Zapatero was a safe bet because of your location. I chose Sarkozy as the third because of his comments about the other two a couple of months ago, and then his later remark about Zapatero being a "man of talent" fit with the whole musician thing.

    Can you tell I'm a political junkie? lol

  7. hehe! nah, don't worry, it's barely noticeable! ;o)

    what comments did Sarkozy make about the other two? I've been woefully ignorant of the news these past months... :s

  8. Basically, it was reported that he said Zapatero was not very smart and that Obama was inexperienced, not good at making decisions, and had never run anything. He did say that Obama was very intelligient and charismatic though.

    A couple of weeks later, after all the brouhaha and the subsequent denials, Sarkozy was in Spain and told a reporter there that Zapatero is a man of talent and conviction.

    I thought maybe the band was in reference to the "talent" remark and that Obama was in front as the leader, you know "running" the band. Who knows, but it was interesting.

  9. Nah, more of an idea of musicians waking up the world... and in the little signs the words are more of a criticism against Zapatero...


Hey there! Yes you! The quiet one in the back... I'd love it if you hung out for a bit and shared your thoughts!

I might stop by your place with an answer, but I'm more likely to reply right here so click on "email follow up comments" if you'd like to see what I and others have to say and come continue the conversation! ;o)