What a special evening this was! It was the perfect evening to enjoy a correfoc, which is a fireworks parade, and one of Valencia’s most unique events. There was already a special atmosphere among the crowd, because it was also the night of the ultra-rare lunar eclipse that was crossing over Europe. In fact, it was hard to to split our attention between the correfoc and the eclipse; too much was going on at the same time. I tried to photograph the astrological event, but my zoom was way to weak to capture anything impressive.
We’ve witnessed a couple of correfocs in the past, during Fallas, and it’s always been a highlight of the festivities. But this one, held as the last pyrotechnic event of the Gran Fira de Valencia, so was much better.
Usually, everything is blocked off, because of the large Fallas crowds, so you couldn’t walk along with the fire devils. But this time, nothing was under control. The onlookers were part of the parade (which is how it should be), and you could get right up close to the demons, devils and dragons, while fireworks were exploding behind and above you. The craziness took us by surprise, because we otherwise would have worn old, disposable clothes. The shirt I wore to this event looks like Swiss cheese, with burn holes everywhere. Plus, it would have helped to wear protective glasses and a hat, as well.
Still, nothing was holding me back from getting my footage, so I went all in. When I got back home, I surveyed the damage: three pretty bad skin burns. But it was worth it.
The correfoc has its roots in the 12th century Devils Ball. The exact story is murky, but it’s said that theater groups would march down the streets dressed as devils and lighting up fireworks. This tradition is very much still alive in Catalonia and in the Valencian Community. The correfoc always contains symbolic figures of the devil, dragons and other kind of monsters and people will jump and dance in the street surrounding themselves with these spraying fireworks.
Something you definitely don’t see every day, which I think is the whole purpose. It was fun to be around Valencians enjoying the summer night but also seeing visitors who just ran into the parade letting loose and having a blast.
The fire parade started at the Calle de las Barcas, then went up to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, and ended in front of the Estacion del Norte, the main train station. And there is no event in Valencia which doesn’t start or end with a massive firework. I knew this in advance, so managed to get right behind the set-up. This is how I like to experience my fireworks and it was exhilarating, watching these amazing fireworks with the lunar eclipse on the horizon. Something you don’t get to see everyday.
The closing event of the Gran Fira de Valencia is the Batalla de Flores, which I will post about shortly.