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Posted on Aug 21, 2013 in Barcelona, Catalan Festivals, Catalonia, Spain, Where in Spain Wednesday | 18 comments

Catalan Correfocs in Barcelona

Today is the last day of Barcelona’s Festa Major de Gràcia! To celebrate, here’s a picture of one of the highlights of the festival – the Catalan correfocs (literally “fire runs”). 


The name pretty much tells you all you need to know; Catalan correfocs involve both running (corre) and fire (foc). Teams dress up in demon costumes and march around the streets waving fireworks and setting them off.

It seems like their criteria for choosing fireworks is “the louder, the better.” Over the past week, there have been a variety of shrieking, screaming, and whistling explosives sailing past my window. And I really do mean past my window. I took this shot from my little bedroom balcony.

And if the fireworks themselves aren’t enough, each team is preceded by a band of 20-ish drummers trying to, er, drum up enthusiasm for the parade (pardon the pun). The whole thing is noisy, crazy, and not something I am going to miss after the festival.

This evening I tried out going down into the street to get a closer shot of the correfocs. I lasted approximately thirty seconds. Then I realized all the shrieking fireworks were spewing out a rather large quantity of sparks that I had absolutely no intention of getting close to. I may have missed a cool shot, but I escaped un-singed. Worth it.





  1. You should have danced!!! It’s so much fun. I only have two tiny burns on my finger tips. Last year I was super scared and taken aback but what was going on. This year I was eager to jump in there. For La Mèrce I hope you will try it!!

    • Haha maybe I’ll have to give it a go next time! But I actually won’t be here for La Merce…I’m traveling that week. Too bad!

      • The biggest party of all! But I’m sure you’ll have an amazing vacation instead. I’m off on my long holiday starting this weekend. We should get that coffee sometime in October!

  2. I was too scared to join the correfoc! I already forced myself to go to the beach on the Noche de St Juan and it was fun but… I don’t like at all fireworks close to me -_-

    • Me neither! It really bothers me because I start worrying about my hair catching fire. Eek! Still, I’ve heard it’s fun…

  3. This looks incredible! I think there’s perhaps something about stereotypical Spanish culture that kind of owes itself to fire. I am really hoping to go to Las Fallas in Valencia while I am in Spain this year.

    • Yes, there are quite a few Spanish fire-related festivals. I went to Las Fallas this year and it was SO much fun! I highly recommend it. 🙂

  4. Well, I’ve just dropped by your blog, searching pictures from my born town, Girona. Also I see you live in Barcelona. About the Correfocs, I must say that is a kind of festivity that is frequent in Catalunya (doesn’t involve bulls) and that, when you go, you have to be sure you wear cotton clothes (Jeans, something to cover your hair, if it’s in winter, you may also wear gloves). I must say it’s a bit scary for a sissy as me, but it’s also fun. Why? For the excitement of running and the challenge of going under the devil’s big fires. This shouldn’t be considered as fireworks at all. Normally the correfocs are scheduled at the begining of the festivities, and it could be a way to “awake” the village, announcing that the festivities begin. Anyway, sorry for all the talking, really nice blog, really nice point of view.

    • Oh I love Girona! It’s such a beautiful city. You’re right, correfocs are definitely different from regular fireworks. I made the mistake of going to see the correfoc wearing shorts and sandals, so I was afraid for my feet! Next time I’ll have to dance in them, because it sounds like fun.

      THanks for your long comment, I love hearing from readers! 🙂


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