Correfoc or “fire run” is a traditional festive event in Catalunya and the nearby “Països Catalans”. "Devils" play with fire and with the people. These devils are not the incarnation of evil; they are sprightly and festive, dancing to the sound of drums, while they set off their fireworks.
El Masnou has been holding correfocs for more than 25 years, after the end of el franquismo (the Franco era). There are actually two correfocs, one for infantiles, and the other called “gran”. These are just one of the many events for the town’s festa major (“big party”) held around dia de Sant Pere (St. Peter’s Day).
Although Ruben is natural de Catalunya, he had never attended a correfoc. So Saturday night we decided to go to the starting place for the gran correfoc which was only about 200 meters from where I live in yet another new park.
A group of “devils”.
Previously I thought that the “devils” were primarily young people who dressed up and terrorized people without bringing the policia down on themselves. I was surprised to see a number of middle-aged women appearing in costume.
Another group of “devils”.
Likewise, the band of drummers had more women than men. And there were two drum leaders: one male and the other female.
The band that follows the devils during the “run”.
There was a brief warm up act with devils and angels and after a few more skyrockets the show was on the road. This year the route snaked all the way across town.
Part of the “warm up”.
There were a few police around, but they seemed to just be directing traffic. And of course an ambulance brought up the rear.
Fireworks are placed overhead on at various points on the route.
Earlier during the day we saw the “parade of giants”, in which a number of nearby communities participated. Each set of figures had their own band replete with ancient reed instruments that are in the shawm family.