And it is that, San Juan’s day is considered a regional holiday by the Consell, but “recoverable” since the Generalitat can only declare a limit of full holidays per year and it prefers other dates such as holidays, for example, this year, March 19, April 5 (Easter Monday) and October 9.
“People in Alicante want a full holiday, but the decisions are made by the Generalitat”
So much the City Council and the Bonfires claim that Sant Joan is a 100% regional holiday although the foguerers value as recognition of the tourist attraction of the Bonfires the consideration of June 24 as a holiday throughout the Community for three years. To make it so, the Consell changed the Three Kings Day in 2019, which fell on Sunday, in favor of June 24; and in 2020 the Generalitat chose the St. John’s Day so that it would be a holiday throughout the autonomous territory in front of Holy Thursday, which had been declared a national holiday and was working.
However, the modification of local and regional festivities This year has turned June 24 into a kind of “minor” holiday, since it is not included among the 14 days assigned in Alicante and in the Community as holidays. Until 2018, even the day of Sant Joan was a local holiday, which this year, by plenary decision, will be on June 23. The consideration of a recoverable holiday could be punctual this year: in 2022, October 9 falls on a Sunday, the same as March 19 in 2023, which will once again enable a full autonomous holiday for the big day of the Alicante festivities. From the Consell they clarify that the particularity of this year is due to the fact that no other interchangeable holiday falls on Sunday.
“Las Hogueras we need Sant Joan to be a 100% regional or local holiday, but a total holiday”
Either way, The City Council wants the day of Sant Joan to always be a “complete” holiday and will request it for next year “Because many of those who visit us at Bonfires come from the Community itself,” says the mayor of Fiestas, Manuel Jiménez. This year things remain as they are “because there is no room to change it” since a petition in this regard requires plenary approval. In addition, the suspension of the Bonfires due to the covid reduces the “seriousness” of the recoverable holiday, in the opinion of the foguerers. However, the president of the Federació de Fogueres, Toñi Martín-Zarco, also thinks that Sant Joan should be a “complete” holiday, something that she understands that the local authorities will manage with the Generalitat. «If it is a regional holiday, it is ideal. If not, it will be necessary to return to the premises. We want it to be 100% because we are at Hogueras and we need it. ”
The president of the Associació de Fogueres Especials, Josep Amand Tomás, recalled that the Sant Joan holiday changes depending on the people chosen each year, and considers “an important achievement that the Generalitat grants the holiday because, until a few years ago, it was not he considered our Fiesta or its tourist attraction ».
“I understand that most of the traditional commerce will act like a normal holiday”
For the hospitality and commerce sectors, the recoverable nature of June 24 is not so important. «At that time we will already be in the high season and most of the establishments will be open. Little by little, tourism returns, no one thinks of closing and, as it is a regional festival, visitors from Valencia and Castellón can come, ”says César Anca, president of the Restaurant Association (ARA). This spokesman claims the character of a holiday throughout the Community for June 24, “100%, applying whatever formula.”
For traditional commerce, it will be a normal holiday, says the president of the Merchants Collective, Vanessa Cárdenas, who understands that the recoverable holiday “is a novel figure that has been created to save the maximum number of open holidays established by law.” . Regarding the fact that June 24 is not going to be a typical holiday, the representative recalls that “the labor relationship in traditional commerce is closer and more flexible, always from the legality and professionalism, but also from the proximity and that human relationship that arises from working side by side between merchants and employees. This new figure that appeared in our work calendar will be faced in local commerce jointly between both parties, and with dialogue looking for the best solution ”.
“Tourism returns and nobody thinks of closing on the 24th. With whatever formula, it must be a holiday in Alicante”
Vicente Armengol, president of the Corazón de Alicante association and vice president of the Facpyme employers’ association, also believes that June 24 will be for all intents and purposes a normal holiday in small and medium-sized companies, the majority in the province. In any case, he understands that what was negotiated in his day is that Sant Joan’s day is a 100% regional holiday and that it must be contemplated and respected in this way.
The small business awaits the opening of stores in very central streets and with a lot of steps to take advantage of the incipient return of tourism while in the rest of the city the majority will remain closed. Nor will municipal markets open on June 23 or 24. As for large stores, as of June 20, they will open every Sunday and on public holidays in the areas of great tourist influx of the province, although on June 24, exceptionally, it closes in the city of Alicante.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.