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La Mercè Correfoc (Fire Run): The Gates of Hell Open in Central Barcelona

[ 23.09.17 ]

Who knew: the gates of hell open in the very heart of Barcelona! You will see this for yourself if you come to La Mercè Correfoc fire run, which once more takes place in honour of the city’s patron saint on Saturday, September 23.

If you have children or want to bring young kids to this festival of fire, remember that a special fire run for these “little devils”, the Correfoc dels petits diables, will take place at 6.30 pm on Saturday, September 23. The route begins in Plaça d’Antoni López and passes through Via Laietana to end in Plaça d’Antoni Maura. Yes, it’s a fire run like the one for adults later, but in this case the fireworks and explosions are adapted to the needs (and ears) of younger spectators. So, if you have children, this is the best and safest option for bringing them to the event.

The Correfoc de La Mercè fire run for adult audiences will begin in Via Laietana, near Plaça d’Antoni Maura, at 8 pm. The infernal drumming of the Tabalada Infernal, performed this year by the Pollo del Prat percussion group, will kick off proceedings. This is followed at 8.15 by celebrations for the 40th anniversary of Barcelona’s “fire groups”. Then, at 8.30, the Gates of Hell will finally open, and the fire run will begin, heading down Via Laietana to end in Plaça d’Antoni López.

Once hell’s gates are open, Via Laietana will be filled with daemons and fire beasts, and a constant storm of sparks will rain down on spectators.

You will know that the fire run is an intense affair and that those attending the event must take special care. Don’t get into the front line if you are not prepared for what is in store, or if you are unable to run when necessary. And come dressed in long sleeves and long trousers, all in cotton, with a hat and a scarf around your neck. Wear comfortable shoes, and remember: never pour water over the beasts and devils, as damp gunpowder can be very dangerous.

And if, despite taking all the precautions advised by the organisers, you are unlucky enough to get burnt, medical services and ambulances will be standing by to give assistance.