The land of bonfires route
We are the land of fire and flame; we are the land of bonfires.
La Costera is known for being home to four monumental bonfires that mark the passage of time: three in the middle of winter, the other at the gates of summer.
The land of bonfires route
We are the land of fire and flame; we are the land of bonfires. La Costera is known for being home to four monumental bonfires that mark the passage of time: three in the middle of winter, the other at the gates of summer.
Land of fire and flames
At the beginning of the year, in the middle of winter, an excellent reason to visit la Costera are the festivals held around the fire by several towns, such as Canals, Cerdà, Montesa and l’Alcúdia de Crespins. The fire that warms, the one that cooks the food, the one that illuminates the home and the square. And the enemy, the wildfire that destroys nature and that constitutes the main element, fascinating and sublime of the festival in the municipalities of la Costera.
Canals, the mother of all bonfires
It is around 1634, when the current parish temple was blessed, the first bonfire with higher dimensions and more similar to those we know today was created. The contribution of firewood begins on the night of December 7 to 8, the day of La Purísima, when –remembering ancient traditions– with horses and mules the trees are dragged, mainly pines, which are deposited in the Plaça Major. The construction of the bonfire begins on January 1 when the first pine is hoisted, around which the chopped pine wood will be placed and properly organized. Construction is finished around January 14, just two days before the cremà. A small orange tree with its oranges will be placed at the vertex. The Canals bonfire is especially fascinating due to its magnificence that, with a height of 16 meters, a diameter of 9.80 meters and 450 tons of firewood, invades the singular Plaça Major, illuminating and heating up the massive crowd present.
CERDÀ, THE OTHER BONFIRE OF SANT ANTONI
It is stated that in Cerdà the bonfire probably began in 1612, when a pile of wood was burned at the door of the mosque. It is mounted by the festers and numerous volunteer collaborators, starting on the day of La Purísima, on December 8.
In Cerdà the patron is also Sant Antoni Abad. They burn the bonfire on the Saturday closest to the feast of the saint, at 9 pm, in the square in front of the town hall. As a prelude, at 8:40 p.m., in the church the joys of Sant Antoni are sung, a religious ceremony recommended to witness. When the fire allows it, the different types of meats and sausages are toasted on the embers. Participate and you will enjoy the holiday more. The festival in Cerdà (331 inhabitants) has the charm of the rurality of a small town.
MONTESA AND THE BONFIRE OF SANT SEBASTIÀ
In Montesa, in ancient times a large fire was already made, which was recovered in 1989. There is news from the beginning of the 20th century about the lighting of bonfires on the sidewalks. Currently, a group of neighbours collects the firewood and sets up the bonfire, finally covering it with needles. At the top there are orange branches with fruits, olive branches or gorse. Montesa burns the bonfire in the Plaça de la Vila on the Saturday closest to January 20, the feast of Sant Sebastià, patron saint of the town, around 9 at night. It is lit by the same group of friends who built it and by all the neighbours who want it. When the flame goes out, meats and sausages are roasted over the coals.
L’ALCÚDIA DE CRESPINS, THE HOTTEST FIREPLACE
In l’Alcúdia de Crespins there was an old tradition of making small bonfires on the sidewalks of the streets of La Creu and Sant Onofre, which evolved into a single large bonfire that was in an esplanade at the end of the street of Sant Onofre, near of the orchards. With the current characteristics and location (at the back of the parish temple), the Alcúdia bonfire must be dated to the beginning of the current century. Formerly the bonfire was set up with old furniture and other woods that people no longer needed. Currently it is planted by the group of workers of the City Council with pruning and different types of firewood, although finally it is covered with red pine needles, placing palm branches at the vertex. It is lit the weekend before Sant Onofre (June 12), patron saint of the town, around 9 P.M.