Fire Runs in Mallorca, the Correfocs Parade

The Demons purifying Palma de Mallorca, Fire Runs or “Correfocs”;

It is no longer a party celebrated just by royalty as many years ago and it is no longer a real gift to the people or servers, fire runs or “Correfocs” is the same people celebrating the royal traditions.

With the coming of darkness hovered over Palma de Mallorca the capital and venial sins. Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. The Seven Deadly Sins filled the night in Palma de Mallorca, but this time evil disregarded the five “colles” (group of demons) prepared to make fronts to them wrapped by thousands of people who were accompanying them throughout their journey through the streets of the city. It was the day of Sant Antoni, and after the Beneïdes (Blessing), Palma had continue to face evil and Palma de Mallorca did.

The start of Fire Run, involving over 140 naughty Dimonis (demons) was spectacular, streets lighting and Christmas lights were turned off and only a few red dots of light, simulating hellfire, gave greater ornateness to the staging, on a full moon night and nice temperature that encouraged thousands of people to enjoy one of the highlights of the festivities San Sebastián in Palma de Mallorca.

The Fire Runs or “Correfocs”, as most Spanish traditions, has its origin in the ancient struggle between good and evil where fire plays the role of purifying, and this is what happened on the night of Sant Antoni in Palma as in other nights in different towns of the Island. In the middle ages this celebrations were exclusive of Spanish royalty, done between courses of large meals, but today form an essential part of festivals in the villages of Mallorca during the celebrations of Sant Antoni and San Sebastià, although it is also held in other towns of the Island on different dates, despite of being a more appropriate celebration of Catalonia area rather than Balearic, you can read more about this tradition here. On the night of Sant Antoni in Palma, the 140 demons gathered was enough to launch a spectacular “Encendida” (switch on) in the midst of a pagan and loud music from a lot of drums and whistles, dancing so outrageous about the thousands of people attending the event to impart fear and respect.

Even the seven major vices were represented during fire run or “Correfocs” by 15 students from the School of Dramatic Art in Palma de Mallorca and they were spark in every pore by Drac de Sant Jordi (Saint George Dragon), who was the one opening the “Correfocs”, until the Drac de Coca that was closing the parade, and from five “colles” of Demon (group of demons and musicians) to help throughout the purification. The groups called Enfocats, Endemoniats, Realment Cremats, Kinfumfa and Trafoc that not only purified but equally startled and delighted the crowd placed along the entire route.

Hundreds of people enjoyed the fire run that started in the Costa de la Sang and lasted the Rambla, Riera street, Plaza Weyler and Unio street until they reach Plaza Joan Carles I, near midnight, where al colles performed a great and spectacular fireworks together. The route over the wide streets, provided striking since demons, with diabolical toys and burning gunpowder at all times, able to move freely, inviting the audience to dance under the wheels of fire, which they did, the thousands of people attendees throughout the fire run or Correfocs wanted to dance under fire until after midnight, with the show already finished.

Over 150 kilos of gunpowder, obscene movements, taunts, dance, jumps, orgy environment and none of the participants skimping energy, leading the whole to last two hours, but it was not enough, the demons wanted more but ran out of gunpowder, the participants, Mallorcan, visitors, tourists, wanted more too… but without gunpowder or demons…there were really a lot of people, people prepared for the occasion, sheltering from the sparks given off gunpowder with hoods, hats, gloves and shoes.

Also there were children, many children broke to cry in the presence of demons, with unpleasant faces and making some obscene positions. Skulls of goats, bulls and even oxen, with huge and flashy horns, which provide that infernal touch during all fire run.

It is a show worth seeing, for its historical value, the spectacular fireworks and the feelings it arouses. I was, I took a lot of photos, I jumped, I screamed, I danced with demons, the atmosphere was stronger than my desire to take good photos, but it was worth it.

I hope that this brief description of what I saw and experienced, will help to you to understand what it is and what is going on during the Fire Run or “Correfocs” and if you have the chance, go and see it during your holidays in Mallorca from the many of them held in the Island as fire runs are repeated in towns throughout Mallorca like Alaró, Algaida, Artá and Sa Pobla and, further afield, throughout Catalonia on saint´s days.

It is 100% recommended.

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