Today is the 2nd to the last day of a Spanish summer tradition: The Running of the Bulls Festival. Whether you decide to participate this year or next, you can book your flight, book a castle, and head to Spain to celebrate this centuries-old festival!
The Running of the Bulls takes place yearly from July 6th-July 14th and averages about 1 million visitors to the city of Pamplona in the Navarre region of Spain. The festival consists of participants running through the streets while being pursued by 1000s of pounds of bulls. The thrill of fleeing the risk of imminent injury or even death induces adrenaline in participants and on-lookers alike. The bulls and runners weave their way through the narrow cobblestone streets of the city at set times during the 9-day festival.
La Corrida de los Toros (Running of the Bulls) is part of the San Fermin Festival that has taken place in July since 1591. If you wish to go, you can purchase tickets to observe the bulls and runners from a safe perch either on an over-looking balcony or another ideal viewing location. Obviously, tickets are not necessary, but for the best experience, you should look into purchasing some! For an added level of authenticity, you should consider wearing a white shirt and white pants. You will also need a red sash on your waist and a red bandana around your neck. This is the tradition Running of the Bulls garb.
The original purpose of the Bull Run was to transport the bulls from one part of the city to another. The bulls were being transported from the corral to the Plaza de Toros. This transportation has been taking place since the 13th century, but originally took place in September. Pamplona's inhabitants lined the streets with their goads and propelled the bulls along with smacks and yells. To make the process go faster, one leader would run ahead of the bulls to get them running in the right direction. After about 200 years, the procession became less about the practicality and more about the festivity of the event.
The Running of the Bulls is only one part of the San Fermin Festival. It takes place at 8am each day in closed loop through the streets of Pamplona. There are actually about 400 other events that you can enjoy during the 9-day festival. There are many child-friendly and adult-oriented activities that take place across the city. Activities are both free and paid. Take a look at the schedule and plan the itinerary that is best for you! You may be asking yourself how it is going to be possible to get from one location to another with 1 million people to sift through. The good news is that like most cities in Spain, you can usually walk from place to place since everything is pedestrian-friendly and close together.
Want to experience the culinary part of Hispanic culture? Try your hand at this easy El Salvadorean dish, Curtido de Repollo.