Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
San Fermín, Pamplona
The origins of this festival date back to the 16 th century, but it wasn't until a hundred years
later that its best-known feature, the running of the bulls , was introduced. After Ernest Hem-
ingway described the festival in his novel The Sun Also Rises , it became popular in the
Anglo-Saxon world. These days it is an international event.
San Fermín starts every year on July 7th, when the tzupinazo (a rocket launched from the
city hall balcony) marks the start of the festivities. If you want to try your luck at bull-run-
ning, there's one race or encierro (literally “confinement”) every morning at 8 AM. You
must make absolutely sure that you know all the rules to run without putting yourself or oth-
ers in danger. For example: Running before the bulls when drunk is a very, very bad idea.
Other attractions include the Procession ofSan Fermín (the patron saint ofthe city), a parade
of Giants and Bigheads , fireworks, the traditional Basque sports competitions and, well,
drinking (though of course, that's not a requirement to have a good time, and also not free).
You can also see bullfighting in the city's bullring after every race.
Image Credit: A crowded street in Pamplona. Image by .
When It's Free
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