Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Night of Fire - La Noche del Fuego - La Nit de la Foc

Incredible, so far! I just came home for a break in-between the correfoc in Pl. de la Barceloneta and the corretillada until dawn in Pl. del Mar. I went to the correfoc with a friend after eating dinner and desert (coca de nueces) at my place. We watched some of the smaller fireworks from my terrace then walked over to Pl. de la Barceloneta. My friend had never seen the Barceloneta carrefoc before, and he thought he was only in store for more of the spattering of fireworks that was going on (and is still going on!) in the streets.

Then as we got a few blocks from my apartment he noticed that Barceloneta’s little lanes were becoming more and more packed. Gradually we began to hear drumbeats and, as we turned a corner, to see flashes of light coming from a couple of streets ahead. Round one more corner and we saw a throng of people leading up to the plaza - young people, senior citizens, families, tourists, couples, groups of friends, etc.

I was a little braver than usual and eventually made my way right up to the edge of the square where all the fireworks were going off from the revelers costumes. My friend elected to watch from a little further behind. From my vantage point I could see, hear, feel, smell and practically touch what was happening before us.

The sparklers and firecrackers were carried by the performers in heavily gloved hands, attached to decorated helmets, spewing from knee-pads, literally jumping off of shoes, etc. The costumes were mostly red and black, although one group wore white clothes covered with hand-painted twists and twirls. Some of of my favorite participants were:

- the guy who had a back-piece that looked like a crude pair of wings, which in fact was a launching pad for a thunderstorm of pyrotechnics that went off as he ran like hell around the plaza;

- the person on roller skates, whose skates shot off sizzling sparklers in front and behind as he whizzed by the crowd;

- the two human flamethrowers.

- the giant wire-mesh fish on wheels that was rolled out near the finale to shoot Roman candles high into the sky.

All of this took place with live music in the background — percussive and wind instruments to provide the rhythm to an impressive spectacle.


P.S. I’ll try to come back by in a few hours to write an update! If not, tomorrow at some point I’ll write more.

Copied from original posting by Carloz on 23 June, 2007

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