Home Headlines Fiestas de San Fermín in Spain, criticized for animal cruelty

Fiestas de San Fermín in Spain, criticized for animal cruelty

by sanmigueltimes
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Fiesta de San Fermín, a festival held annually in Pamplona, Spain, beginning at noon on July 6 and ending at midnight on July 14, honoring the city’s first bishop and patron saint, Saint Fermín.

The festival was originally observed on Saint Fermín’s feast day, September 25, but in 1592 the celebration was moved to July. Pamplona’s modern fiesta starts with fireworks called chupinazo at noon on July 6, followed by the singing of the traditional song “Pamploneses, Viva San Fermín, Gora San Fermín” (“People of Pamplona, Long Live Saint Fermín”).

The best-known part of the festival is the running of the bulls or the Encierro. From July 7 to July 14 the bulls to be used in the daily bullfights are run through the streets of the town to the bullring. Both locals and tourists participate in the event, made famous in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises

The highlight of the festival is the early morning bull runs, which began on Friday, when thousands of daredevils started to race against six bulls.

Some praise them as brave, others dismiss them as stupid: macho locals and tourists alike who test themselves by running away from six fighting bulls as they charge along a winding cobble-stoned route to Pamplona’s bullring.

It’s the highlight of the nine-day festival in the northern Spanish city – the early morning “Encierros,” or bull runs, which began on Friday, when thousands of daredevils started to race against six bulls.

Spectators watch from balconies and wooden barricades set up along the course. The spectacle is televised nationally.

The rest of each day is for eating, drinking, dancing, and cultural entertainment.

On Thursday tens of thousands of people had packed the town hall square to celebrate the traditional “Chupinazo” firework blast that starts the San Fermín bull-running festival.

Nearly everyone, including many tourists, was dressed in the traditional garb of white trousers and shirt with red sash and neckerchief as they sang and shouted.

As the rocket was fired, many doused each other with red or sparkling wine.

The festival was made famous by American Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises.”

The bulls used in the runs are killed by professional matadors in bullfights each afternoon in the city ring.

San Miguel Times
Newsroom

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