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running of the bulls in Pamplona

Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain

Running of the Bulls 2018

Where : Pamplona, Spain

Charging bullWhen : Opening ceremony, fireworks display on July 6.

Running of the bulls every morning 8AM from July 7-14.

Traditional route :

  • Santo Domingo

  • Town Hall Plaza

  • Calle Meraderes

  • Calle Estafeta

  • Calle Duque de Ahumada

  • Plaza de Toro

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.

It begins in 2018, as usual, on July 6 and continues for 8 days (and nights filled with partying and celebration) until July 14 along a traditional route leading to the Plaza de Toro.

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 during the nine-day festival.

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.

While the festival at Pamplona remains the most famous, it is only one of the many such running of the bulls events held throughout Spain, Portugal, Mexico, and in Southern France every year.

In Spain and Portugal, especially, the running of the bulls begins as a prelude to a major bullfight, a custom originating in the 19th century when townspeople would line the streets to view the bulls being 'run' or transported from their corrals to the arena. The most macho teens and young men would then show off their bravado by jumping into the herd as it passed.

It's not all in good fun, however. 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.

In the modern running, barricades are often erected along the route to help potect spectators. Yet, that doesn't stop hundreds of young men from jumping in or ahead of a bull herd, running for their lives in a classic test of man against beast.

How to run with the bulls

spectators get ready at the running of the bulls in pamplona
Ready, set .... run!

Today, as ever, 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 be at the entry gates by 7:30AM for each morning's 8AM start time. Arrive sober.

Of course, this shouldn't stop anyone from participating in one of Pamplona's biggest tourist draws of the year.

Besides the running of the bulls, the festival features an international crowd of visitors in a week-long carnival atmosphere of souvenir vendors, street performers, evening fireworks displays, and first class people watching!

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.

Pastores or trained bull herders also participate in the entire run to help keep the bulls moving. Once at the ring, dobladores with red capes help separate human participants from the bulls to safely guide the animals into the bullring corrals on arrival.

Although it happens during a week-long festival is full of fun and excitement, each day's bull run is an adrenalin rush that lasts all of 3-4 minutes.

More about the Running of the Bulls around the Web:

Safety at Running of the Bulls
- Stay sober, and more tips for surviving the run.

Pamplona Spain - Running with the Bulls
- Here's another insider account beginning with the start of the run, to what happens inside the Arena.

also see in Spain travel -> Madrid Tourist Attractions | Alhambra Palace


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