Nit dels Focs


Javea requests that the "Nit dels Focs" be declared a Valencian Community tourist attraction

Town Hall drafts a document that reflects the peculiarities of the festivities of the eve of San Juan

Javea. Thursday, 17 November 2011.

Javea Town Hall has filed an application at the Valencian Department of Tourism for the popular “Nit dels Focs” event to become a “Regional Fiesta of Tourist Interest” in the Valencian Community. This way the unanimous decision made during the council meeting in June 2010 to apply for this recognition is carried out. Mayor José Chulvi said that the application seeks to value a unique feature of the town’s San Juan festivities in June and ensure that the tradition, which everyone enjoys, is kept alive.

Councillor Antonio Miragall declared that he began work on the application as soon as he entered office, convinced that the Eve of San Juan is celebrated in a very special way that “we are very proud of in Javea and would like to share with the rest of the region.” Miragall met with Cristina Morató, the Director General of Tourism, to hand over a dossier filled with extensive historical data, photographs and newspaper articles about the occasion. The application also incorporated a specially made documentary about the festivies, which included interviews with older people who tell of the beginning of the celebration, as well with those who currently enjoy the fire-jumping experience, including members of the peñas of L’Escaldà and El Gerrot as well as the current Fogueres queen Ana Bolufer. The video also included testimonies from Pepe Espinós, Pepe Sart, Antonio Segarra, Paco Moragues, Vicente Salvá and José Espasa, as well as municipal archaeologist Ximo Bolufer. The video was presented to the subjects of the documentary, as well as to members of the tourism industry and will soon be circulating online.

The film outlines the three acts that take place every year from midnight on June 23rd. The first event is the “Cremà dels Focs” when small bonfires are lit at the points where the entrances to the ancient walls once stood. The bonfires, which are prepared by the penya L’Escaldá, draw thousands of people wearing crowns of braided St. John’s wort and prepared to jump through the flames in exchange for fulfilment of a wish. Then the crowd follows the route of the old town walls before making their way to the “Cremá de la Foguera”, a huge bonfire built from old furniture, prepared by the penya El Gerrot, into which the jumpers throw their crowns to burn away their problems. The evening ends with the stunning “Correfocs”, when a combination of traditional music and drumming fill the streets where the ancient walls stood with explosive excitement.

The festival has certainly evolved from a modest event for the youth of the town to the massive event that it has become today. Although there is little documented information as to its origin – the first written evidence of the celebrations in Jávea dates back to 1951 – it is known that the lighting of fires has always been an ancient celebration closely linked to the observation of the summer solstice.

Miragall was pleased to note that the regional tourism authorities had shown great interest in the peculiarities of the “Nit dels Focs” and expressed a desire to attend the next edition in 2012. Now, we have to wait for the authorities to review the entire application, which has been prepared jointly by the departments of Tourism, Culture and Festivals, which could take up to 6 months until a decision is made.

Postscript March 22nd 2012

San Juan "Nit dels Focs" now an official Valencian tourism attraction

March 22nd
The Valencian Government now lists Xàbia's June 23rd San Juan "Nit de Focs" as a "Fiesta de Interés Local de la Comunitat Valenciana." This follows representations by Xàbia's Tourism department and collaboration of the two main Peñas involved: El Gerrot and l'Escladà (the traditional groups which organise the proceedings)

Litsed in the Diari Oficial de la Comunitat Valenciana (DOGV) March 23rd

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