Correfoc

Correfocs (Catalan pronunciation: [ˌkurəˈfɔks]); literally in English "fire-runs") are among the most striking features present in Catalan festivals. In the correfoc, a group of individuals will dress as devils and light fireworks – fixed on devil's pitchforks or strung above the route. Dancing to the sound of a rhythmic drum group, they set off their fireworks among crowds of spectators. The spectators that participate dress to protect themselves against small burns and attempt to get as close as possible to the devils, running with the fire. Other spectators will watch from "safe" distances, rapidly retreating as necessary.

The correfoc can come in many forms. Some are simple parades using fireworks and effigies of the devil. In Sitges, it is common for a crowd to line a street, while participants run through a tunnel of fireworks. Correfocs are run during the Festival of La Mercè in Barcelona and Festival of Santa Tecla in Tarragona and the Festival of Saint Narcissus in Girona.

Another typical Catalan folkloric expression of this sort takes place in L'Arboç. The highlight of the village's feast is the Carretillada. In the evening of the feast day, the town square is made to look like Hell. For nearly half an hour, "devils" burn their carretilles (carts), jumping around ceaselessly, while a large "sceptre of Lucifer" and the "pitchfork of the Diablessa (she-devil)" shoot fire-jets and other pyrotechnics. Every year, the carretillada is a bit different, because the 'colla' (group) does not give up novelties that are added each year to add to the spectacle.

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