History of Pamplona’s Running with the Bulls

Every year, beginning on July 6th and ending on the 14th, the small and welcoming city of Pamplona holds an exciting week long festival honoring their patron Saint, San Fermin. The festival is commonly known for the Running with the bulls and was made famous outside of Spain by Ernest Hemingway’s romantic account of the tradition in his 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises. Hemmingway was an avid visitor of the festival and even participated in the Encierro, or the Running of the Bulls in 1924.

The ritual itself is believed to date back as far as the 13th century and began as a way to move the bulls from their holding corral to the ring for bullfights. Originally the bulls were guided along the path with sticks and shouting, until participants began to run behind the bulls and even eventually in front of the herd. Today, thousands of brave men and women participate in the run, while 10’s of thousands watch from safe areas and balconies – all dressed in traditional garb with a bright red scarf tied around their necks.

The normally quiet Pamplona becomes filled with song and celebration. Beginning early each morning, the festival starts with a traditional prayer sang in homage to the statue of San Fermin. The singing is shortly followed by fireworks signaling the release of the bulls and the start of the run which only lasts a few minutes in total. The Encierro is followed by plenty of wine, entertainment and the famous nightly bullfight.

Those interested in learning more about the San Fermin Running of the Bulls Luxury Train Cruise Tour may call us at 1-800-724-5120 or visit http://bit.ly/16hqMrG.

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