Running of the bulls in Pamplona

Are you going on holiday to Pamplona in Spain? Want to see the running of the bulls? Our guide to the running of the bulls in Pamplona tells you the information and facts you’ll want to know.

San Fermin Festival in Pamplona Spain

Every year in July the small Spanish town of Pamplona is turned into one big party scene for a week, the highlight of which is the running of the bulls. The Festival of San Fermin is one of  many annual Spanish festivals, and it is celebrated most in Pamplona. It is during the Festival of San Fermin in which the running of the bulls takes place begins on July 6th and lasts until the 14th of the same month. Despite the religious roots of this Pamplona festival, most people come to Pamplona in Spain during the festival of San Fermin just to have a great time.

 Running of the bulls in Pamplona Spain

Although the running of the bulls constitutes only one part of the festival of San Fermin in Pamplona, the running of the bulls is known to people around the world, many of whom come to Pamplona during the festival to participate in the running of the bulls. However; the majority of people who do go running with the bulls are either locals from Pamplona or at least Spaniards from elsewhere in Spain. Perhaps the roots of the international fame accorded to the running of the bulls in Pamplona  is due to the famous American novelist Ernest Hemmingway mentioning the running of the bulls in Pamplona in his novel  The sun does rise.

The day of the running of the bulls in Pamplona Spain

Each festival day in Pamplona beings with a procession designed to wake up the residents of Pamplona and get them ready for the day ahead. The actual running of the bulls in Pamplona occurs every day during the festival as a pre cursor to the main event of the day which is bullfighting at the main stadium in Pamplona. The actual route designated for the running of the bulls is only about 1km and takes no more than a few minutes for the bulls to complete. A first firework is released to signal to the runners that the bulls have been released followed by a second firework to alert them that the bulls have started running into Pamplona town. This is where the actual running of the bulls in Pamplona begins.

 Running with the bulls in Pamplona Spain

The objective of running with the bulls in Pamplona is to run as close to them as possible without actually getting hurt. You may not be surprised to know that running with the bulls in Pamplona is as dangerous as it looks and every year several people get injured, often seriously, with some fatalities on rare occasions. In recent years there have been protests by animal rights groups who think that the way the bulls are treated is inhumane. However, the running of the bulls in Pamplona and bullfighting is still part of the culture in Spain and does not appear to be going away.