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All You Need To Know About The Running Of The Bulls In Spain

The festival of San Fermin in the city of Pamplona in Spain is a celebration held annually between 6 and 14 July. While its most famous event is the ‘encierro’, or the running of the bulls, the weeklong celebration involves many other traditional events. Although most people around the world refer to the event as the Pamplona Bull Run, or just simply Pamps, it is known by the locals as Sanfermines and is held in honour of St Fermin, one of the patron saints of the area. Over 1 million people attend each year and it has become the most internationally renowned festival in Spain. Immortalized in literature by Ernest Hemingway, San Fermin is an explosive, passionate and occasionally gory festival that is an important element of Spanish heritage.

Yes, you know the scene – you have seen it on the news every July. The Pamplona Bull Run involves hundreds of people running in front of six bulls and another six steers, down an 825-metre (0.51 mile) stretch of narrow streets of a section of the old town of Pamplona, with mad Spaniards and tourists running through the streets trying to get out of the way of these rampant bulls.

The encierro is run each morning at 8am between 6 and 14 July. The encierro is an experience even just for spectators. It is a spectacle that is defined by the level of risk and the physical ability of the runners. But hey, there is much more to the festival of San Fermin in Pamplona than a crazy bull run.

The actual festival starts at noon on 6 July with the setting off a fire cracker (chupinazo in Spanish) from a city hall balcony. There are literally tens-of-thousands of people celebrating the start of the festival around the city hall square.

On 7 July thousands of people accompany the 15th-century statue of Saint Fermin through the old part of Pamplona.

Each morning of the festival there is the parade of giants and big heads. These giants figures are amazingly more than 150 years old.

Between 7 and 14 July there is a bullfight at 6:30pm involving the six bulls that were driven to the bullring during the morning’s Bull Run. While the bullring of the city is the fourth largest in the world, it is full every evening.

Every night a firework spectacle is held at the citadel park. Thousands of people watch the fireworks each night. It is best to get to the area early to get a good seat somewhere on the grass around the citadel.

FOMO Travel are the events and festival travel specialists and provides an extensive array of information and advice on tour operators, travel options, travel tips, and other activities for Pamplona Running of the Bulls. San Fermin is a must-do event on any travellers calendar.