If you plan on visiting Spain in July, consider going to the famed Pamplona Bull Run for a spectacle and adrenaline rush.
Spain provides tourists and locals with thousands of festivals and big events every year. The Pamplona Bull Run tops the list of the most extraordinary of these.
People from all parts of the country and world come to watch this event in Northern Spain. Further, the whole event is televised; the festival gets great news coverage worldwide.
Whether you are a spectator or participant, expect to have an exciting time during your trip.
The festival is held in honor of San Fermin, the patron saint of Navarre and lasts for around a week each year in July.
On the first day of the event, the runners stand at the start line at Santo Domingo and sing in honor of San Fermin.
The image of the saint is on a wall nearby, and they ask for blessings for the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona.
Once the run starts, the bulls are released. They run frantically for about half a mile through the narrow streets ending up at a bullring.
The runners, in the meantime, rush ahead of the bulls. Even though they try to run away from them, they also attempt to stay close enough to feel the breaths of the animals.
As the runners start to slow and the bulls close in on them, the runners dart off to a nearby escape route or passage.
Controversial Spanish Festival
At the end of the race, the bulls are led into their pens. When the end of the day approaches, these animals are killed in a bullfight.
The treatment of animals and the Pamplona Bull Run itself annoys many organizations that advocate animal rights.
This Spanish festival may be controversial, but it is popular among locals and tourists.
The origin of the Pamplona Bull Run
It is also a traditional event for locals. It first came about in 1591. Then, the festival involved the locals herding bulls into a bullfighting venue.
As time passed, the nature of the festival changed. The event was now a running festival with people darting ahead of the bulls.
Further changes came in the year 1852, as a new bullring and route were introduced.
In its beginnings, the Pamplona Bull Run was not as appealing to the masses as it is today.
Initially, only a few youngsters ran with the 1,500-pound bulls. The people who ran in the past were casually trying to show off their bravado.
This changed and more people showed an interest.
Even though it may seem like a risky event the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona still attracts many today. Between 50 and 100 people are injured each year and since record keeping began has resulted in 15 deaths.
It is a very popular festival among running participants and spectators. However, it is not the only bull running festival in Spain.
Other Spanish cities also host these types of events. None are as huge and celebrated as the Pamplona Bull Run, but they are still exciting events to experience.
A good one that runs in late summer is Aravaca-Pozuelo, a suburb of Madrid.
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