On September 6th 2022, the Correfoc in Santa Ponsa returned with a bang to Santa Ponsa beach after a three-year break due to the pandemic.
The Correfoc or “fire run” is a spectacular display of fireworks, firecrackers, “demonis” (devils), fire breathers, and revellers dancing under a shower of fireworks, to the powerful sounds of drums.
What looks like a Health & Safety catastrophe, the Correfoc is originally one of Catalunya’s longest-standing traditions (and now in the Balearic Islands), which sees devils (or “demonis”) run through the crowds spraying fireworks at the waiting masses.
The Correfoc in Santa Ponsa forms part of the Festes del Rei en Jaume I, which is the biggest festival in the Calvia Municipality over the Summer months commemorating King Jaume I landing in Santa Ponsa in 1229.
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What is the Correfoc?
Don’t worry everyone! The Correfoc in Santa Ponsa is neither a satanic festival nor any form of devil worshipping.
And in Santa Ponsa, this event has absolutely nothing to do with the King discovering Santa Ponsa.
The Correfoc is a tradition dating back to the 14th Century, as a form of entertainment for notability.
The Correfoc is most famously held during the San Sebastián festivities in Palma in January.
Due to the Covid pandemic, the Correfoc in Palma was delayed until June 2022, but Santa Ponsa was able to keep this tradition in place at the Santa Ponsa festivities in 2022 for the first time since 2019.
The procession started on Santa Ponsa beach and made its way along the beachfront, as revellers danced with the devils under an avalanche of sparks.
Drummers played out a haunting beat as the parade made its way to the main stage which added electric guitars to the music mix.
While the Correfoc returned to Santa Ponsa in 2022 in spectacular style, you can see by the video playing on this page that the event culminated in an epic firework display lighting up the night sky.
How to be safe at the Correfoc in Santa Ponsa
Attendees who wish to dance with the devils are always advised to wear old cotton clothes incase the sparks leave tiny holes, as well as a hoodie top or a baseball hat.
It’s also advised to wear shoes rather than sandals and have a cotton neck scarf to avoid breathing in too much of the gunpowder. And there is a lot of smoke!
It’s always surprising for visitors to the island to see small children at these events.
The “devils” makeup and costumes are so lifelike, that they can be nightmare-inducing even for adults!
Saying that to run with the demonis is such a tradition here in Spain that sometimes entire families will take part, either dressed as devils or form part of the drumming bands.
You don’t have to go too close to the sparks if you don’t want to. Dancing under the fireworks is fine, but just don’t try and grab the pitchforks that hold the fireworks.
Also for obvious reasons, it’s advisable to keep a safe distance from the fire blowers. There are usually police in attendance, and I did see just the one bombero (fireman!)
Festes del Rei en Jaume I in Santa Ponsa
The Festes del Rei en Jaume I in Santa Ponsa are a week-long event held on the first week of September.
Other celebrations include the Giants parade, the recreated battle of the Moors and the Christians, music concerts and a medieval market.
You can watch this video on my Youtube channel here as I walk through the medieval market in September 2022.
However, the Correfoc is the most recommended activity to experience and worth attending if you are planning your Santa Ponsa holiday in the future because it is so unique, thrilling and visually spectacular.
And if this doesn’t appeal, then do enjoy the other Festes del Rei en Jaume I festivities.
It’s fabulous free fun, with all of the attractions of Santa Ponsa packaged into an amazing holiday experience.
Where to see the Correfoc in Mallorca
If you miss the Correfoc in Santa Ponsa during the first week of September, then as I mentioned the Correfoc should return to Palma’s Sant Sebastián festival whose events usually start in the week running up to the 19th of January.
The Correfoc is usually held a few days later on the last weekend of January to signal the end of the celebrations.
You can read all about the Sant Sebastian Correfoc and Mallorca in January here.
There are several other Correfocs taking place around Mallorca too during the summer months including Port Andratx on the 17 July, around the 23 July in Calvia village, and Peguera on the 31 July.
In August, you can see the Correfoc in other areas on the island including Costa d’en Blanes, Son Ferrer, Alaro and Muro town.
The Correfoc was also scheduled to be held during the Palmanova summer festival in mid-August but was cancelled at the last minute.
The Correfoc is a hugely important tradition in Spanish culture and joining the fun makes a great addition to any holiday.
And if you’re coming from a northern European country which has strict Health and Safety measures in place, then you can be assured that this is something you will never see or take part in your home country.
If you want to find out more about festivals in Mallorca, then make sure you join the Mallorca Under the Sun Facebook Group as they are announced regularly for those coming on holiday.
If you are on holiday in Mallorca during the Santa Ponsa festivities and would like to visit, then check out information about Getting Around Mallorca.
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This looks such good fun and visually spectacular!
We have a similar event here in Somerset (but no devils).
After the amazing annual illuminated carnival in Bridgwater each November there is squibbing.
It’s a simultaneous firing of large fireworks called squibs. There are around 150 squibbers who light their fireworks at the same time and line Bridgwater High Street.
The squib is a large firework strapped to a block of wood on a long pole. The squibber holds it up into the sky and an amazing display is created.
The history of Bridgwater carnival is traced back to the Gun Powder plot of 1605 when Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators failed to blow up the Houses Of Parliament. It’s bonfire night celebrations on a massive scale!
Thanks so much Louise for your comment! I’ve literally never seen this happen in the UK, but please if you have a chance to cover it, please post on your youtube page South West Sundays, I’d love to see it!