The cost of taking part in Alicante’s Fogueres

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THE Festival of San Juan and the Fogueres (bonfires) in Alicante are the height of the social calendar for many Spanish families that take their traditions, including the costumes, the bonfires and the parties, very seriously.
For families that enter into the festivities in a big way, the expense can be incredible. Each family member is costumed meticulously with outfits ranging in price from €800 for men to €1,500 for ladies and that’s not counting the jewellery! For a lady who takes a major part in the celebrations, her costume may cost around €2,500.
Each year the family’s wardrobe expands, with ornate waistcoats and headdresses passed down the family. Some materials for the costumes can range from €100 to €800, and on top of that there are extremely expensive lace trims and combs to buy.
The cost of being involved in the fiestas can be inhibitive, and despite many of the expenses being shared between friends and family, preparations and small celebrations go on throughout the year, each party requiring more new outfits and the cost of bringing along guests which can considerable to the tab at the end of the evening.
Most families arrive at an economic compromise by splitting the cost of the festivities so that each working, adult member tips up an amount each month. That amount depends on how senior the family are in the organisational side of the fiestas, but an average seems to be around €80 – €100 each month.
All those expensive costumes are at risk of picking up a spark that can burn a hole in a costly brocade or silk in seconds, but all of the families involved in the fogueres would not even dream of giving it up and are already frantically saving for next year!

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