La Merce: El Correfoc “The Fire Run” [day 2]

Saturday night of the festival was highlighted by the Correfoc, which literally translates to “Firerun.” And that’s exactly what it was. The Via Laietana, one of the main streets running through the old town, was completely packed with people. I mean wall to wall. A couple blocks down, in the middle of the street, were the glowing red gates that act as the starting point for the run. A little while after it got dark, fireworks began shooting off of the gates in the street:

(pictures from Yoav)

Then out came the runners. These guys carried pitchfork type sticks where they steaked firecrackers onto, so that when lit, they would spin around in a circle and sprew sparks in every direction. The thrill of the run is to see how close you can get. None of us were really prepared for the occasion, so we didn’t get deep into the action. But we did get showered a few times. Here are some pictures and videos, taken by Yoav:

There were also big dragon costumes,carried by one person, that basically did the same thing as the fire runners, but with more fire and more showering.

After the run, we went over to the other side of the city to another one of the free concerts. Headlining the show was OK GO, the geniuses behind the treadmill music video, and a lot more. Right after was a band called Belle and Sebastian, who were pretty good as well:

The next day, Sunday, was the last day of the festival. Unfortunately, we had presentations on Monday, so we couldn’t go see all of the activities. But we did catch the festival’s fireworks finale, at the Palau Nacional, which was incredible. Pictures and video to come in the next post.

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