Pamplona, northern Spain
July 6 - July 14
A San Fermín pedimos, por ser nuestro patrón, nos guíe en el encierro, dándonos su bendición.
("We ask San Fermín, because he is our Patron, to guide us through the Bull Run, giving us his blessing.")
The San Fermín festival is best known for its bull run. Each day at 8am the sound of a cannon marks the moment in which six fighting bulls are let loose onto the streets in Pamplona’s old town. These are the same six bulls which will be up against bullfighters later that day. The bulls follow a traditional route and, if all goes smoothly, the run will take no longer than a couple of minutes. ‘Smoothly’ means there are no accidents along the way, when thousands of runners – usually men, and very often tourists – do their best to avoid the bulls (and so many people!) as the bulls hurtle their way to the finish, which is Pamplona’s bull ring. Occasionally, a runner is gored by a bull and taken to hospital, though deaths are very rare. The San Fermín festival was made famous by the American writer Earnest Hemmingway in his 1926 novel The Sun also rises, which is set in Pamplona at festival time. You’ll always find plenty of Americans visiting San Fermín, thanks to Hemmingway.