Monday, April 30, 2007
Correfocs infantile means children's fire running. That is what it was as well. Sort of. They were running through giant sparklers in fact. Really giant sparklers. There were drums banging and a most impressive devil costume that the eldest is going to wear for Halloween next year. There were some quite tiny children in there, one looked only about three...
It all started off on one of the streets, there were several older people, mid-twenties that were marshaling the children and handing out and lighting their fireworks, which kept a level of order to the process...the official correfocs were in costumes made of a special material, they had hoods, their hair tied back, cloths over their faces and some sported goggles. There were a bunch of other kids that were in regular clothes with baseball hats and kerchiefs. These were simply runners. It was not half as dangerous as it sounds. Well it probably was, but they pulled it off well....
They got to a wider placetta kind of job, and stopped allowing more and more people to run in and out of the fireworks and dance under them. Eldest badly wants to do this next year. I will be purchasing goggles in the summer I think.
WE then proceeded down several streets, all narrow and high walled, the people who live and work there had covered all of their windows with cardboard to prevent damage. By now the fireworks themselves are well ahead trailing the drumming band and the large crowd of people. It felt really very medieval, like we were truly trying to drum out the devil, or he had seized control for a while. Then you looked at the sweet smiling faces of the kids, and perspective returned.
When we got to the main placa strings of fireworks went off over head, and the children shot off some larger ones in choreographed patterns, choreographed so that none of them aimed at anyone.
The kids all had a good rowdy yelling play in the placa afterwards. Younger was distressed to hear that they have a new regulation stating that the children have to be at least 10 to be in the correfoc. Amazing.
Today, a big Paella festival in the park, and then more correfocs, this time for adults in the night. Should be bigger, louder and edgier.
I asked one of the women here if she had run the correfoc when she was a child, but she said no, because it was something that had been done historically, and died out, and they only revived it about 5 or 6 years ago for both the adults and children.
I could not gather how long ago this was a tradition, but the devil and the drums and the fireworks...the poles the children carried the fireworks on were all shaped like a cross as well.