Jordi Pablo discusses the origin of the correfoc.
Let’s see, what do you want me to tell you about correfocs? Well, I had a very direct participation in the creation of correfocs, but why do you call it correfocs nowadays? I would ask that to whom is asking this question to me, because… why do you call it correfoc? Of course, if you dig up a little, you will realice that before 1980, correfocs did not exist That is, it is a modern tradition based on one of the most important festive troupes of the Corpus, which was the interlude of hell Devils are one thing, dragons an other one, and an other different one is the correfoc, they are different things, right? Devils were hell’s representation, a series of characters with masks and fire coming out of their horns They may or may not go by the side of very inventive troupes formed by not just dragons, but also oxes, mules… there’s a complete festive iconography Each village would have one or two, but if you go back in time, in the most primitive Corpus, they had lots of those That is, in the Corpus of the beginning of the XIXth Century in Barcelona, that is, in the 1850-60s, they would be almost all the troupes Of course, the thing is they recovered them 20 years ago, and as it is said in Italian, ‘se non è vero, è ben trovato’, right? It is a folklorist recovery, right? And there are a few theories on Correfocs, but as I was saying, I saw that when they recovered the Mercè’s festivities It is not that they recovered the Mercè’s festivities, but they were in total decay because they were Francoist festivities, they would have a few music bands and that was almost it And with the democracy in the 1975-76, they started to be recognized, and I took part as consultant in the city council to redo this celebration and this tradition And making it as a modern festivity Okey, then, here, there was a moment in which a troupe of devils came to Barcelona, they had already been here sometimes in 1870, but they did not come here after that And they said ‘we’ll bring here some devils from Tarragona’, and of course, people were astonished because it was barely announced, because actually, it was very embryonic And people in Barcelona did not know what that was They would go through tight streets… and well, people were scared because people said ‘run, run, fire, fire, there’s fire there!’ and they would run away, right? And this word was very lucky, let’s say, because this ‘run, run, fire, fire’ was what was said there, and it turned out to ‘runfire’ [correfoc] After that, there was a poet, friend of mine, called Joan Brossa, who sadly is no longer among us, and he did a poster in 1980 which said ‘oh, correfoc’ He was being ironic… about this popular shout, right? And from that moment, well, whatever you want, now there are correfocs in all the corners, let’s say Well, I talked a lot a bout this… but, well.