Guiri or not: Correfocs in Barcelona
Correfocs is one of the most spectacular traditions in Catalan culture. Correfocs means litterally “Fire run”, which is an apropiate definition. Men dressed like demons hold fireworks and run provoking a fire rain while attendants dance under the fire. Sometimes demons are accompanied by beasts breathing fire. The tradition of Correfocs in Barcelona is full of color and sound and should a must in your visit in you are lucky to match one event.
When to see a Correfoc in Barcelona?
The most famous correfoc is the one happening at La Mercè (around 24th September) with most of Barcelona’s demons associations “fire running” along Via Laietana.
However, if you’re not lucky enough to be in Barcelona during La Mercè, there’s still more opportunities to attend to a Correfoc. Most of the local neighborhood celebrations also have their own correfoc. Here you have an approximate calendar of Barcelona neighborhoods celebrations. In most of them you should find Correfocs, check their Festival programs.
Barcelona’s neighborhood festivals (Festa Major)
- Mid-January: Festa Major de Sant Antoni.
- Around March, 3: Festa de Sant Medir.
- Around March, 23: Festa de Sant Josep Oriol – Barri del Pi ( Ciutat Vella).
- Second half of April: Festa Major de Sagrada Familia.
- First half of May: Festa Major del Guinardó.
- End of May: Festa Major de Nou Barris.
- First half of June: Festa major de Porta.
- First half of June: Festa major del Coll.
- First half of June: Festa Major del Baix Guinardó.
- Second half of June: Festa Major de Sant Gervasi.
- First half of July: Festa Major de Fort Pienc.
- Mid-July: Festa Major del Raval.
- Second half of July: Festa Major del Poble Sec.
- Mid-August: FEsta Major de Sant Roc – Barri Gòtic.
- Second half of August: Festa Major de Gràcia.
- End of August: Festa Major de Sants.
- First half of September: Festa Major de Horta.
- First half of September: Festa Major de Vallcarca.
- First half of September: Festa Major de La Ribera.
- First half of September: Festa Major de La Bordeta.
- First half of September: Festa Major de Verdum.
- Around 24 September: Festa Major de Barcelona – La Mercè.
- End of September: Festa Major de Sant Miquel – La Barceloneta.
- End of September: Festa Major d’Hostafrancs.
- Early October: Festa Major de Sarrià.
- Early October: Festa Major del barri del Congrés.
- First half of October: Festa Major de Les Corts.
- Second half of October: Festa Major de La Verneda.
- First half of November: Festa Major del clot Camp de L’Arpa.
- Second half of November: Festa Major de La Sagrera.
- End of November: Festa Major de Sant Andreu.
Besides you can also go to other major correfoc celebrations in Catalunya.
Most important Correfocs in Catalunya
- End of July: Correfoc de Les Santes – Mataró
- End of July: Correfoc Festa Major de Vilanova i la Geltrú
- Mid-August: Correfoc Festa Major de la Bisbal de l’Empordà
- End of August: Ball de Diables de L’Arboç
- End of August: Correfoc Festa Major de Manresa
- Second half of September: Correfoc de Santa Tecla – Tarragona
Tips to attend to a Correfoc
Attending to a Correfoc is an incredible experience and you can have lots of fun dancing under the fire sparks. However, as you’re playing with fire, unless you want to get burned, some important precautions have to be taken:
- Wear long pants and long sleeves.
- Wear closed shoes.
- Cover your face until your eyes with a handkerchief.
- Wear a hat or cap.
- Use glasses, googles or any kind of eye protection.
Protect yourself! Not like this poor guiri!
Les colles are associations created inside a community (village, city, neighborhood) to celebrate Correfocs during major traditional celebrations. Members are trained to use fireworks properly. Most of Colles have these 3 main characterístics:
- Dimonis: People dressed like devils who hold fireworks
- Bèsties: One or several Beasts. Those beasts recreate traditional myths can be hold by one or two men standing inside its structure, or can be moved by a carriage.
- Tabalers: Drummers who accompaign devils