RUNNING-WITH-THE-BULLS-IN-SPAIN’S-PAMPLONA

RUNNING WITH THE BULLS IN SPAIN’S PAMPLONA

20.06.18

When thinking of Spain, thoughts wander towards tapas, sunshine, and of course, running with the bulls. Jolanda van de Streek from ImmoVario shares the thrill of summer in Pamplona

The annual San Fermín festival in Pamplona in Spain's Navarre region isn't for the faint of heart. The festival takes place over 7 days from July 7 to 14 in 2018.

Six bulls who normally fight in the corridas de toros, or bullfights, run the 875 metre long course around the streets of Pamplona, with six tamed bell oxen by their sides. The bull runs take place every morning at 8am during the festival and last just a few minutes. Locals and tourists alike watch from the balconies or the street along the narrow streets.

The tradition is said to have been started by butchers when bringing the bulls in for slaughter from local ranches. Young butchers would help the shepherds to herd the bulls to the town by running in front of them and of course, this eventually became a tradition in the town.

Running with the bulls is open to anyone who wishes to take part and it is unlikely that any one runner can run the whole course. The distance sounds short but imagine running that with a herd of bulls running after you.

The bulls plus the sheer number of other runners mean only a short distance is covered by each runner in the two to three minutes it takes the bulls to get from the starting point on Calle San Domingo to the town's bullring.

When the run starts the runners, normally dressed in white with red neckerchiefs, chant in both Spanish and Basque, asking San Fermín, the patron saint of the festival to keep them safe. Once this is done, a rocket indicates the start of the run.

A total of four rockets indicate the stages of the run, from the start, to the release of the bulls, arrival of the bulls at the bullring and a final rocket which indicates that it is safe to walk around the streets again.

Of course, in true Spanish fiesta style, evenings and nights during the festival mean one massive party so be prepared to miss a few night's sleep if you do head to Pamplona for this one-of-a-kind festival. If you would like to go see this festival for yourself we'd recommend renting a place on one of the balconies for safe measure.

The length of the course is fenced in so you can watch it from the street but to avoid any heart-stopping moments, a balcony might feel safer. You can do so via the official San Fermín website here.

To find out more about properties in Spain, visit http://www.immovario.com

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