The daemon burning

The daemon burning is the most important tradition in Badalona, the central act of the Badalona festivities.

Every year, the night of the 10th of May the daemon is burned. This is called “La Cremada del Dimoni”, which was declared a national tourism interest in 1991.

At the end of the Spanish civil war, the Catalan culture was immersed on a crisis and the administrators of Saint Anastasi brotherhood were looking for a new tradition to motivate the Badalonese culture. Suddenly they found a diary where was explained an event from the XVII century: the burning of a ship figurehead at the beach by a group of fishermen. This is how the daemon burning tradition is born. The first daemon was designed and burned the 11th of May, as the final act of the festivities.

From 1940 up to the end of the XX century, the daemons were designed by artists related with Saint Anastasi brotherhood, until 1997, when the last artist died and was declared an open public contest.

Now, whosoever wants to design is free to do it. If the design is the winner at the contest, the designer gets a price and his daemon is built and set in the beach.

The theme of the daemon is different every year and is related with something especial that happened during that year: global warming, Dali, the use of the euro as a single currency or a Quixote daemon have been some of the last topics.

The night of the burning starts with a dance in front of the city hall. Then, all the people walks through the streets of Badalona following the music and rhythm of street bands, ending at the beach, the perfect spot to watch the fire show.

Before the burning, there is a speech of the major or some authority and then, the final act: the fireworks. All the people burns a flare – which have been dispensed the whole evening – and wait for the final moment.

Is a very nice show to watch the fireworks listening music especially selected: the light and explosions of the fireworks follow the rhythm of the songs while, far away, the daemon burns.

When the daemon is totally burned, all the people go to “La Plana”, a big square where there is the traditional Micaco Dance, a popular activity open to all the public were old and young people dance together following the music of an orchestra.

Nobody cares about going to bed, next day is holiday. All is about enjoying the moment; otherwise they must wait 365 days to live this festivity again.