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The Festival Of San Fermin: 6 - 14 of July, 2010

Pamplona, Spain

The Running of the Bulls is a practice that involves running in front of six bulls that have been let loose, on a course of a sectioned-off subset of a town's streets. The most famous running of the bulls is that of the nine-day festival of San Fermín in Pamplona. For 9 days every July the small city of Pamplona turns into a sea of red and white as hundreds of thousands of people gather to celebrate the Fiestas San Fermin. Richly diverse in culture, music, sporting contests, and of course celebration.


The festival of San Fermin, or the Pamplona bull running as it's more commonly known outside Spain officially begins at midday on 6th July every year. Before the running of the bulls, a set of wooden or iron barricades is erected to direct the bulls along the route and to block off side streets. Thousands of people congregate in the square awaiting the mayor's official announcement that the fiestas have begun, a rocket is launched and the partying begins. The excitement you feel your first time in Pamplona during the San Fermin Festival is something really unique.





How did it all begin? The history of the bull-running in Pamplona is not clear. There is evidence of the festival from as far back as the 13th century when it seems the events took place in October as this coincided with the festival of San Fermin on October 10th. It seems that the modern day celebration has evolved from this as well as individual commercial and bullfighting fiestas which can be traced back to the 14th century. Nowadays, The Pamplona festival is the most popular running of the bulls in Spain and is broadcast live by two national television channels.


What you can experience? First of all, wild atmosphere. The atmosphere is electric as the crowd cheers, gasps and screams. The runners sprint forward, heads turning wildly, trying to stay fully alert and focused on what´s happening and when exactly they should make their escape. In addition, the evening shows of the festival are as exciting as the midday parts. The nightly bullfights, which take place at 6.30pm, are also said to be a noisy, colorful affair. Mark this festival on your calendar.


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