San Fermin (Runnng of The Bulls)
The fiesta of San Fermin is celebrated annually from 12noon 6th July to midnight 14th July in the city of Pamplona, Spain. There are many events and festivities during San Fermin, the main event being the Running of The Bulls which takes place from 7th July to 14th July at 8am daily.
Be prepared with:
i.) Several sets of ALL white attire (NOT your best white, get cheap ones which you don’t mind throwing away);
ii.) A red scarf (TRADITION! only allowed on the neck when the festival begins. Before the txupinazo rocket launches, wear it on your wrists or anywhere else);
iii.) Covered shoes (glass ends up on the ground after the rocket launches/it is extremely crowded/ you aren’t going to run with the bulls in your flip-flops!)
iv.) Cash (to buy TONS of sangria which are thrown/splashed at everyone & anyone and of cos, to drink!)
v.) Waterproof your phone/cash/camera etc (minimize what you bring);
vi.) An appetite for an awesome load of excitement!!!
This is the rocket that kicks off the fiestas. It is launched on 6th July at 12noon in Plaza del Ayuntamiento (City Hall Square). Although it is the City Hall Square, it is not that big and even every street around is EXTREMELY crowded (Note: you will unlikely be able to move around once you are there).
Some lucky ones (or if you are willing to pay to rent a space) get to enjoy the atmosphere in the comfort of the balconies of private houses. Plus you get to pour buckets of water over the crowds below!
2. RUNNING OF THE BULLS
Traditionally, only men are allowed to run with the bulls but these days, there are ladies (usually non-locals) who brave this run. It is important to know the route and all the rules to keep yourself and others safe. One VERY important rule: DO NOT touch the bulls. This is considered disrespectful – you can be fined and more likely than not, BEATEN UP by the locals on the spot.
Alternatively, you can watch the run either along the route or in Plaza de Toros (the bullring) which is at the end of the route. You will need to arrive at points along the route a couple of hours before in order to find a good viewing spot behind the second fence. However, this means you only get to catch a glimpse of the action. I would strongly recommend one day watching from along the route and another day, from inside the bullring . Get your tickets early in the morning to enter the bullring, choose a good seat, enjoy the atmosphere, watch from the big screens where they introduce the bulls/ report highlights from previous runs, and of course, live broadcast of the entire run (record time is 2min27secs) that morning.
Once the bulls are inside Plaza de Toros and herded into their bullpens, they actually let a couple of the young bulls (with wrapped horns) out to run around and for those who have completed the run, they get another adrenalin rush being up-close with the bulls. NOTE: DO NOT touch the bulls or try to mount them. This is not an act of bravery – it is an act of disrespect AND stupidity because, you WILL be condemned/ thrashed inside the ring and no one will sympathise with you.
What’s a fiesta without fireworks?
The action does not stop throughout the 9 days of revel. Amongst the many events and activities, make sure you experience the brilliant fireworks display which takes place every night at 11pm. Best place to watch – Parque de la Ciudadela.
* Excited to see more photo coverage of San Fermin? Visit my website.
* Check out the official website for San Fermin, which has everything you should know: www.sanfermin.com
* Feel daunted planning/going on your own? Go with BusAbout!!!