This tree festival takes place in the old town of Altea (casco antiguo) during the San Juan fiestas, which is an ancient celebration that can be traced back 400 years, and celebrates the summer solstice and a kind of thanksgiving for fertility.
Basically, all of the village machos (and others who think they may be too) cut down a tall poplar tree and drag it through the village up to the top of the church square. The atmosphere is carnival, en route they drink wine from porron jugs and end up soaked and with ripped clothes.
A tall poplar tree is dragged through the streets by machos as a symbol of their masculinity….
Once they arrive at the church square, they have to raise the tree in to a prepared hole and secure the tree to nearby buildings, before seeing who can climb the highest.
Arrive early to get a good viewing spot, but stay away from the tree itself and prepare to get a little soaked if you venture close.
When does it take place; End of June, usually the Friday evening before the San Juan/summer solstice weekend