Fiesta de San Fermín in Pamplona, Spain
Fiesta de San Fermín in Pamplona, Spain from 6 – 14 July
Every year, Pamploneses and tourists, dressed in the traditional impeccable white clothing with red handkerchiefs around their necks, fill the streets of Pamplona to celebrate the week of festivities in honour of San Fermín known as the Running of the Bulls.
San Fermín originated as a long week celebration to honour Saint Fermín, and it blends three festivals: the feast day of San Fermín, an ancient trade fair, and a bull fighting festival. The San Fermín festival begins with the launch of the Txupinazo rocket at mid-day on July 6 in Pamplona Plaza Ayuntamiento; official blast-off to nine days of partying from 6 July till 14 July. Every day it includes a bull run, a parade of the gigantes or cabezudos (big headed giants), a bull fight, fireworks and more.
The run is a half-mile course down the cobblestone road that leads through the town to the bullring. Runners ask Saint Fermín for protection and make a daring dash to the ring. Once in the bullring, the pastores sends the bulls back into their pens. After the run, the tradition of bullfighting takes place.
The running of the bulls is dangerous yet captivating! If you do decide to run, run fast, get some sleep, and wear good shoes. You must be over 18 years old to take part in this festival, and remember that you must always run forward and never provoke the bulls.
Scared of all this? Well, you can be a part of the festival by being a spectator too! Bring your camera along; the combination of crowds, colours and ancient buildings on narrow streets is visually intoxicating.
Finally on 14 July, a candlelight performance of the song “Pobre de Mi” closes the San Fermín festival. Drink one last glass of wine and indulge in the parting ambiance of the candlelight and fireworks.
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