Pamplona

Running of the Bulls

23 Sep 2019
This event made Pamplona world-famous. Once it was only a local (or regional) custom, but it all changed when Ernest Hemingway wrote the novel “The Sun Also Rises.” While the book came out only in 1926 and gained popularity a little later, the tradition dates back as far as the 14th century.

In Pamplona, the Encierro as it is called in Spain is held annually during the second week of July (6-14). During this time of the year, the city is invaded by thousands (or tens of thousands) of foreign tourists willing to join the bull-run. The local people tend to be fed with crowds during the San Fermin and often leave the city when it attracts large groups of visitors.

The Running of the Bulls starts on the second day of the festivities and lasts till the last day. It’s the same every morning at 8 AM after the participants sing the benediction. They are always six bulls, but the number of people trying to run away varies. The length of the route is 875 metres, covering four narrow streets in the Old Town (Santo Domingo, Ayuntamiento, Mercaderes and Estafeta) before entering the bullring. There are safety gateways all along the course of the Encierro. There are dozens of injured participants every year. However, the last fatality was recorded in 2009 (overall 15 deaths since 1910 when this type of statistics was started to be written in the books annually). There are hundreds of Red Cross volunteers ready to help and support the runners, especially in need of going to the hospital.

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