The San Fermín festival celebrates the patron saint of
the Spanish region of Navarra. It has become the most internationally renowned
fiesta in Spain, with over 1,000,000 people coming to participate!
Thousands of tourists attend San Fermín every year,
with the dangerous running of the Bulls being the highlight for adrenaline
junkies willing to be chased by angry bulls.
The origin of the fiesta of San Fermín goes back to
the Middle Ages and is related to three celebrations: religious ceremonies,
trade fairs and bullfights.
Initially, the fiesta San Fermín was held on October
10th, but in 1591 the people of Pamplona, fed up with the bad weather at that
time of year, decided to transfer the fiesta to July so it would coincide with
At the beginning it lasted two days and had a pregón
(opening speech), musicians, a tournament, theatre and bullfights. Other events
were added later, such as fireworks and dances, and the fiesta lasted until
This Spanish festival was made famous by Ernest
Hemingway. His novel “The Sun Also Rises” (“Fiesta”),
written in 1926, attracted people from all over the world to come to the fiesta
San Fermin kicks off its 2014 celebrations on the 6th
of July from 12:00, when the opening of the party is marked by setting off the
The chupinazo rocket is launched at noon from the city
hall balcony to declare the nine-day fiesta, with thousands of people below in
the city hall square.
Everybody holds his red handkerchief above his head
until the firework is exploded and they then put it around the neck. The fiesta
sees thrill-seeking locals and tourists run down the historic streets chased by
bulls ahead of a bloody bullfight.
The running of the bulls (In Spanish encierro)
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. The run ends in the Pamplona’s bullring taking a mean
time of around 3 minutes where the bulls would be held until the afternoon´s
bullfight when they would be killed. Bullruns are held between 7 and 14 July.
After nine days of partying, the people of Pamplona
meet in the Townhall Plaza at midnight on 14 July, singing the traditional
mournful notes of the Pobre de Mí (‘Poor Me’), in a candlelit ending. The city
mayor closes the festival with participants lighting a candle and removing
their red handkerchief.
Although it attracts a large number of young tourist
partygoers, the San Fermin festival is an annual event steeped in tradition
which is enjoyed by all.
Sky-tours wishes you a happy and safe San Fermin! 🙂