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|Did you know.... France|
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Hunting for Treasure in the Pyrenees-Orientales
An exclusively Catalan frog? Well, not (...)
’Bal-musette’ You are very (...)
Canigou and Kipling In a letter to M. (...)
Castells and castellers (...)
Catalan donkey symbol You may already (...)
Cheeky Monkies.... The Simiots of Arles-sur-Tech
Correfocs Correfocs originate from a form (...)
Do you live near a prat? Well, best not to (...)
Don’t shoot! It’s a rifle! (...)
Catalan National Anthem Els Segadors (...)
The start of WW3? Well, let’s (...)
Feeling a bit tramontane? Did you (...)
Open door to the P-O On a plateau of (...)
Get your boules out!
Going off the rails at Cerbère A difference in
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Havaneres Named after the (...)
. Le correllengua On 7th November (...)
How things have changed! LE PERTHUS (...)
Les Dames de France, Perpignan (...)
Say ahhh…. but don’t swallow! (...)
Lest We Forget ...... Louis Torcatis (...)
Llevant de Taula The expression (...)
Petanque According to the rules (...)
Pont Gisclard gets a paint job Every (...)
Did you know that over a hundred years ago, (...)
The Albigensian Crusade
An estimated (...)
Grub-ada The Catalan tradition for (...)
No one expects the Medieval Inquisition! (...)
Le Maître de Cabestany An anonymous 12th (...)
The meaning of Argelès The name (...)
The obelisk in Port Vendres by Michael (...)
The Palais des Rois de Majorque, Perpignan (...)
The Sardane The Sardane is a traditional (...)
Le Chêne des Trabucayres. The oak (...)
The Via Domitia The Via Domitia was the (...)
Thuir, Byrrh, and the Violet Brothers (...)
Walter Benjamin Walter Benjamin, (1892 (...)
Winds of the Pyrénées-Orientales There are (...)
Correfocs originate from a form of medieval street theatre called ‘Ball de Diables’, representing the fight of good against evil. The Correfocs themselves are not medieval. Spanish dictator Franco banned many aspects of Catalan culture, so after his death, Barcelona wanted to fill the streets once again with fire and festivity.
Meaning “fire runs”, the Correfoc makes sure that any festival goes with a bang!
Dressed in red and black, wearing horns and masks, ‘colles de diables’ (groups of ‘devils’) dance amongst the crowds accompanied by loud music, waving sparklers, firecrackers, and roman candles, spitting fire into the crowd. Great atmosphere, great fun but can be very frightening for small children, animals and the less adventurous adult.
A predominantly Spanish tradition, this Catalan firefest of fireworks and bangers has fizzled out in North Catalonia since an enquiry into injuries caused by the fireworks at the Millas féria in 2008 which led to legal proceedings. A 55 year old man was injured by a piece of metal from one of the explosions and had to be hospitalised. The «distances réglementaires de sécurité n’auraient pas été respectées » as there should be at least 8 meters between the show and the public. The Spanish tradition, from whence the correfoc originates, is that the fireworkers weave in and out of the crowd, which does not conform with French law.
Amongst other useful advice during a correfoc, the Generalitat de Catalunya suggests........
☂“If by any chance your clothing catches fire, throw yourself on the ground and roll over to put out the flames. Above all, do not run, as this will spread the flames and make them burn more fiercely.”
☂"Even if the participants in the correfoc ask you for water to cool them down, don’t throw it at them. Doing it could wet the gunpowder and make it explode or fire off in the wrong direction instead of burning as intended."
In case of emergency, ring 112