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The Cavalcada del Foc really is a profusion of silhouettes, shadows and demon-like figures that hypnotise the public against a smoky and fiery backdrop. The artists that take part in the parade are not always the same, but there usually are musicians, dancers, acrobats, and of course pyrotechnic performers.
The tradition of the Cabalgata del Foc dates back to 19th-century Valencia, when the custom of fire rituals and celebrations was common. Back then, animals such as eagles and turtles were represented in fire processions. In the early 1930s, these fire parades took place, representing fire beasts, demonic figures and other fantastic creatures.
However, the ritual fell into disuse and was soon abandoned. It was only recently that its heritage was recovered through the use of floats, demonic representations, dances and fire shows. The Cabalgata del Foc is now an established prelude to the Cremà.
These artists, usually dressed like demons and otherworldly creatures, make the parade unforgettable with their floats in the shape of mythological dragons and snakes. Their flames and pyrotechnic displays delight and amaze the public with fanciful shapes and elaborate choreographies.
The group Colla de Dimonis de Massalfassar closes the parade with their fire show, which usually includes La Tortuga. This is a ten-metre long and 5-metre wide aluminium turtle, which, thanks to the artists hidden inside, moves and shoots glowing sparks from its shell. The turtle is apparently a reference to the one carried by the Masons’ Guild during festive processions in 18th-century Valencia.
Some of the recurring presences are of course the Falleras Mayores with their Cortes de Honor and traditional Valencian music, usually played by musicians from school such as the Escola de Tabal i Dolçaina i Cant d’Estil de Junta Central Fallera and the Escola de Música Tradicional La Xafigà.
The fire performers are normally all local, with various groups all coming from different towns in the region, like the Colla de Dimonis (Demon Gang, in English) from Massalfassar, a town 15 km north of Valencia. Previous guests have included the Dimonis Emplomats de Beneixama, the Dimonis Enroscats de l’Alcúdia, the Diabòlica de Morvedre, the Dimonis de la Plana, the Botafocs de Castelló, and Espectáculos Pyros from Banyeres.