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Origin of the Bonfires of San Juan in Jávea
San Juan festivities originated in late 1949 when a group of young friends decided to create the first Bonfires, although it was not until 1950 when they held the first festival.
The first commission that was created had 37 members, all men, who elected as president Francisco Bas Shepherd (Xatet of Xirivita). Women also formed a large group and exerted a very important work assisting in the preparation of acts.
In order to collect money for the holidays, the Commission began to celebrate at the beginning of 1950 what was known as “Fiesta en el Aire”, the name of a well-known radio program of the time. During the whole year, evenings were held at the old Espinós Cinema in which the young people of that time launched themselves to go on stage to sing or perform in plays. The nights of “party in the air” had a great reception by the people of Jávea who enjoyed good and fun performances while collaborating with the village festivities. These evenings were held every year from 1950 until the end of the 60.
When the first Bonfires of San Juan approached, a group of eleven young people was formed who then went on to create the festival group who wore the first traditional dress which then cost around 20 pesetas. Among the young women, Maria Teresa Calzada Rubio was chosen as Queen of the Foguera. In addition, the little ones also participated in the party with the creation of the first Children’s Commission in which 13 couples of boys and girls participated, choosing Gertrudis Tena Sendra as Queen of the Foguera.
The first Bonfires of San Juan in the Vila of Jávea were held from 18th to 24th June with a program that despite the short time they had to organize, was varied. games Pilota Valenciana with the best figures of the time, Bous al carrer at that time were released around the historic center of Jávea, nights of verbena with the local band, parades, noisy awakenings, floats and even mascletàs, fireworks were lit and of course, the traditional Foguera.
That year two Bonfires were planted, as is done today, the plant in the Placeta del Convent and the children’s one in the Church Square. After the success reaped in the first year of the celebration of les Fogueres de Sant Joan, people turned to collaborate in the second year, 1951, and new features that still last until our times were incorporated as the election of the queens (in that year three) by popular vote, “l’entrà” de bous, the parlor of pardon of the “ninot” of La Foguera, the offering of flowers to Jesus of Nazarene with a climb to Calvary (for some years it has been celebrated in honor of San Juan ), the “raïms i bacores” parade with a visit to the San Juanes of Cup and Teulería street and finally what we know as the “Nit dels focs”. In 1951 a “dansà” was danced with garlands on the head around the fires of San Juan and ate roasted beans.