One of the most celebrated festive acts in Catalonia, the Ball de Diables (Dance of the Devils), has been consolidated in to an official entity which will preserve the traditional aspect of this event.
To cement the new entity, the Coordinadora de Balls de Diables Tradicionals de Catalunya (CBDTC) unleashed 11 groups of Diables on to the streets of the old city, an event which culminated with a gigantic joint flare explosion in front of the Cathedral.
Taking part were the Ball de Sant Miquel i Diables d’Igualada, Ball de Diables de Sant Quintí de Mediona, Ball de Diables de Sitges, Colla Vella, Ball de Diables de Vilafranca del Penedès, Ball de Diables de Vilanova i la Geltrú, Ball de Diables de l’Arboç, Ball de Diables del Vendrell, Ball de Diables de Torredembarra, Ball de Sant Miquel i Diables de la Riera de Gaià, Ball de Diables de Reus and our very own Ball de Diables de Tarragona.
The Ball de Diables represents the fight between angels (represented by a little white-winged figure of a girl or a boy) and demons and the earliest reference goes back to 1150. It was introduced in Catalonia via the Balearic Islands and the region of Valencia and has continued almost uninterrupted to our days as one of the main centerpieces of the festa major.
In Tarragona the tradition has been running since 1426 and Balls de Diables are recorded in conjunction with religious commemorations and official events like the visit on Carles III in 1706.