It was American writer Ernest Hemingway who helped spread the word of the tradition in such books as "The Sun Also Rises" and "Death in the Afternoon."
Today, increasing numbers of tourists join the crowds in Pamplona, Spain at the height of the travel season in July at the famous Running of the Bulls at the annual Fiesta San Fermin.
Runing with the bulls 2019
It begins in 2019, as usual, on July 6 with the opening ceremony. The bull runs begin the following day and continues for 7 days (and nights filled with partying and celebration) until July 14.
Media coverage has taken the annual running of the bulls worldwide to the delight of armchair runners everywhere - with news, updates, daily bull running blogs, pictures, and video appearing almost hourly.
Of particular interest are photos and video clips depicting victory ... for the bull!
Dramatic gorings, tramplings, and related eyewitness accounts have become the stuff of Internet legend, as images of victims flipped head-over-heels by the horns of an oncoming bull are the stark equivalent of an urban car wreck. Viewers just can't look away.
Stretching for 11 meters (36 feet), the monument to the bull run is just off the main square in Pamplona.
By tradition, he running of the bulls begins as a prelude to a major bullfight. It's a custom that originated in the 19th century when townspeople would line the streets to view the bulls being 'run' or transported from their corrals to the arena. Macho teens and young men would then show off their bravado by jumping into the herd as it passed.
But by modern reckoning, it's not all in good fun. With various injuries having taken place in recent years, a notable terminal mishap occurred in 2009 when a 27-year-old Spaniard, Daniel Jimeno Romero, became the first goring fatality since 1995. More recently, over a half dozen people were hospitalized with serious injuries during the 2013 Running of the Bulls.
DID YOU KNOW? Running of the Bulls fun facts
Live ... from Pamplona.
• Like the World Cup or the Super Bowl in the US, the running of the bulls in Pamplona is broadcast live on national television every year in Spain.
• The running of the bulls is Pamplona's biggest annual tourist draw. More than 50% of participants who run with the bulls are tourists.
• Besides the running of the bulls, the San Fermin festival features a carnival atmosphere of souvenir vendors, street performers, evening fireworks, and first class people watching.
• The build-up to each run may be exciting, but it's an adrenalin rush that lasts all of 3-4 minutes from beginning to end.
Avoiding the pain in Spain - How to run with the bulls
Ready, set .... run!
As always, it is highly recommended that runners be fit, agile, and have their wits about them at all times.
Those under the age of 18 need not apply, and all participants must arrive at the entry gates by 7:30AM for each morning's 8AM start time. Arrive sober!
Remember, you'll be running with a herd of wild animals -- with horns. Trampling is always preferable to goring (which accounts for most of the fatalities.) So if you're threatened with simply being run over, drop to the ground and remain in the fetal position until all danger is passed.
That said, the majority of the 200-300 injuries annually are a result of trips and falls while running or crashing into the street barriers!
For the main event, a double fence marks the entire route of the bull run through the streets. This helps guide participants, spectators, and the bulls throughout the 900 yards it takes to get from the corral in Calle Santo Domingo to the bullring.
More about the Running of the Bulls around the Web: