20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Dance of the Demons

Every September one of the most popular Catalan “Correfocs” is taking place in Barcelona for La Mercè, a festivity for the Patron Saint of the city. The “Correfoc” is a pyrotechnical display inherited from a medieval practice known as “Ball de Diables” (Dance of the Demons) born, according to the most solvent historians, in the XII Century. The one taking place in Barcelona is certainly the most spectacular “Correfocs” anyone can witness in Catalonia, and it starts with the lighting up and opening of the Hell’s Gate, through which demons and mythological beasts will emerge “armed” with “mazas” (pitchforks) full of firecrackers. Those maces will start to spit out a rain of fire sparks under which the people will start frantic dances and sprints in the middle of this diabolically joyous chaos. A unique stirring experience for anyone experiencing his first “Correfoc” which is normally never the last.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 09.2022
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: Barcelona, Spain
Camera: NIKON D800
Copyright: © Sergi Escribano