Monday, April 30, 2007

More fire....



The correfocs for the grown ups was last night. Well, really teenagers with almost unlimited access to fireworks...you can imagine that it was louder, faster, edgier, more manic and altogether MORE. Catching the eye of some of these devil dressed guys...they were so excited, exhilarated, thrilled with their power and daring and strength, it gave me insight I have never before managed into so many harsh rights of passage that humans have produced. They were euphoric. Dressed as devils, convincingly, with blackened hands and black lines running from their noses as the soot and smoke congealed there from their breathing....


First they seized the ajuntamin...the town hall....and the devil addressed us from the balcony, humorously I gather, and with lots of bad words wittily tossed in. Then they set it, and the placa alight. There were fireworks dripping flaming shards off the balcony, and one of the only - for me - really scary parts was when some older folks were trying to get out from under it, their uncovered hair was exposed and they weren't moving too fast...


They had a giant paper - mache dragon in front that, to my disappointment, they didn't burn. I think they should have. What the heck are they going to do, store it?









Here the dragon has opened his mouth and there are lit flares inside making it glow and smoke...they also had a PROFUSION of smoke makers, it got pretty darn thick at times...



Then the fire-running began...it was rougher, they squirted it at each other, they threw them on the floor and danced in the sparks. These are not the big bangers that send the fire up high, they are tubes that hose sparks in huge volume....


There was a curtain of fire that they danced under, they had set it up on a wire and the sparks and flames came down like a waterfall that they passed through over and over.




The picture isn't that clear, and we were still pretty far back as you can see, but they are walking about under all that....

Overall though it really looked rather like a mosh pit with fireworks thrown in....I was the only one who wasn't as impressed, I thought they would have managed something with more of a theatrical nature, more of a theme, but the teenage passion for chaos and fire and noise and anarchic chaos rained true here.

That said, they were basically sensible. They had a couple of shopping carts that contained the bulk of the pyrotechnics, they stayed behind the band. There were 4 women with bags slung over their shoulders who were quite near the front, who were handing out the bombs, they had to hang back a bit though because if their bags caught on fire they would be badly hurt. The diablos would run back for more ammunition before running forward again and setting them off.

The drumming was wonderful, it set everyone's feet going, and the band was nothing but drums, beating out insistent and fantastic music. I love drumming, not in the Rock and Roll drum set sense, but drumming in it's own right....and I loved this.

The diablos were excellent about making sure that they were far enough forward that they bagged women with the ammo wouldn't get sparked, and they also slowed down, but this was also somewhat anarchistic....if you got in the fire zone, it was up to you to take care of yourself.

We started out further back in the parade, unsure what would happen, but gradually moved up so we could see something.....We basically tried to hang at the same level as the ammo women, close enough for a good view, but out of the fire zone.

I took fewer pictures, partially because I piggy-backed little one for most of the hour-long parade so she could see. Bits of me are a wee bit sore today, nothing like piggy backing a 50-something pound child and jumping up and down at the same time for an hour....

I also took fewer pictures because in a lot of ways it wasn't much different than the others had been....I did get a few, and one I missed....one of the diablos was hanging off the railing on the outside of a wall slinging a flaming umbrella of fire and sparks over his head and over the crowd...it was quite an image.

I was surprised by how frightened some of the kids were of the diablos...even older kids 11 or 12, mine were universally unafraid and entranced, although little one got a little tired to say the least.

Some of them could breathe fire, which was impressive, but must taste awful, and there were a couple of guys with those flaming slings on chains that you spin to most impressive effect. Image a rock, or sandbag on the end of chains that you can spin and turn and slide over and around your body and set it on fire....we had seen this before, but the girl we saw in George Town was better at it than here....

The youngest and I got back to the placa and pressed to the back, not knowing what the grand finale would bring, but then found ourselves next to the storehouse of ammunition, and though that was probably the spot LEAST likely to get flamed, the repercussions if it did were by far the worst, so we moved....and ended up as minor correfocs ourselves, we were a little too close when they set some off on a suspended rope over our head...little one, well equipped in jeans, socks runners, a heavy sweater with a hood and glasses bent over, and I bent over here...jeans, a wool sweater, turtleneck and scarf over my head....only a few sparks bounced off me and none off niblet, she had turned her back and was hunching over, and I was hunching over her, between her and the flames....I will be purchasing heavy scarfs and proper goggles for the girls for sure...and if they ever want to do the adult one, tight fitting welders goggles, and asbestos or whatever face and hair scarves, I saw one guy get hosed in the face...no problem, but defensive wear is necessary...

They really should have flamed the dragon head, it was the only logical finale, and it seemed kind of child-like to want to save it. The ending was basically just MORE. More noise, more fire, more banging another mosh pit. I was the only family member to be faintly disappointed, everyone else thought it was better than the kid's correfoc, but I thought they could have made it more dramatic than it was. There was no progress or creativity, it was just, just, well, bigger.

This all went on until midnight, at which point we wilted home to bed...I am still blowing my nose black, and when I washed my face last night, the cloth came away green!

They had a Catalan hard rock band in the placa till about 2 am I think as well.

We woke this morning to rain, which may or may not impact on today's plans....more parades, more gegants, a meal in the park....a children's band and a 'futbol' match.....

Did I mention that several people told me that this is the small festa major? It is kind of boring you know, if I really want to see something I should go the the real one in August...now that is a festival!

*gulp*

3 comments:

Beth said...

OMG - the REAL festival is in August??!!
You'd better start training for it now. (Actually, I guess you are...)

oreneta said...

Beth: I was pretty stunned by that too, unfortunately we won't be here for it, we have to go back to Canada for the summer for work...given the heat here in Aug, well...I think I am content.

Beth said...

Small?!!! BORING??!! wow, they must be so jaded...I don't think that's boring at all.