Viva! Spain bull-running fiesta returns after pandemic pause
A red-and-white sea of revellers erupted in celebration Wednesday, dousing each other with wine in a packed Pamplona square as Spain’s most famous bull-running festival returned after a two-year absence due to the pandemic.
The launch of a firecracker known as the “chupinazo” from the balcony of the northern city’s town hall at noon (1000 GMT) marked the official start of the nine-day San Fermin fiesta, kicking off the bedlam.
Thousands of party-goers from around the world — most dressed in the traditional all-white outfit with a red scarf — responded ecstatically, screaming “Viva San Fermin!” and spraying each other with wine.
Despite a light rain falling, the throng cheered wildly as they waved their red scarves in the air and passed giant yellow inflatable balls over their heads as scores looked on from crowded apartment balconies.
“The rain doesn’t matter. Seeing the square full again is terrific,” said Saioa Guembe Pena, 54-year-old civil servant whose white shirt was stained pink with wine.
The annual festival, made famous by Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises”, was last held in 2019.
PAY ATTENTION: Share your outstanding story with our editors! Please reach us through firstname.lastname@example.org!
Local officials called off the hugely popular event in 2020 and the following year because of the Covid-19 pandemic — the first time the festival was cancelled since Spain’s civil war in the 1930s.
Many revellers started drinking early, sitting at outdoor patios or wandering Pamplona’s narrow, cobbled streets with large bottles of sangria hours before the “chupinazo”.
The festival, which dates back to medieval times, features concerts, religious processions, folk dancing and round-the-clock drinking.
But the highlight is the bracing daily test of courage against a thundering pack of half-tonne, sharp-horned bulls.
Every day at 8:00 am, hundreds of daredevils race with six fighting bulls along an 850-metre (2,800-foot) course from a holding pen to Pamplona’s bull ring, which this year marks its 100th anniversary.
The bravest — or most foolhardy — run as close as possible to the bulls’ horns, preferably without being gored.
The first bull run, which traditionally draws the largest number of participants, is on Thursday.
Dozens of people are hurt every year, although most injuries are caused by runners falling or being trampled by the bulls.
The last death was in 2009 when a bull gored a 27-year-old Spaniard in the neck, heart and lungs.
4 thoughts on “Viva! Spain bull-running fiesta returns after pandemic pause”
I simply needed to say thanks once again. I’m not certain the things that I could possibly have made to happen without the actual thoughts discussed by you relating to this area of interest. It had become a real depressing setting in my view, but being able to view a skilled fashion you solved it made me to cry over delight. I am thankful for your work and then wish you know what a powerful job you are getting into instructing people today through the use of your web site. Probably you haven’t met all of us.
My spouse and i were very joyful Michael could deal with his survey while using the ideas he was given while using the weblog. It is now and again perplexing to just always be giving away secrets and techniques which usually most people might have been making money from. And we recognize we have got the writer to give thanks to because of that. All the explanations you have made, the simple site menu, the friendships you will give support to foster – it’s many astounding, and it is aiding our son in addition to the family consider that that concept is cool, and that’s exceptionally vital. Thanks for the whole lot!
I in addition to my guys were found to be reading the best strategies located on your site then at once got an awful suspicion I had not thanked the blog owner for those techniques. All of the young boys became totally stimulated to read through all of them and now have unquestionably been using them. Thanks for turning out to be really kind as well as for picking varieties of exceptional areas most people are really eager to know about. Our sincere apologies for not expressing gratitude to you sooner.
I am writing to make you understand of the wonderful discovery my wife’s child undergone viewing your blog. She figured out a wide variety of details, which included what it is like to possess a very effective helping character to get other individuals easily learn about several very confusing topics. You truly surpassed our own desires. Thank you for rendering those priceless, dependable, edifying and as well as cool tips about the topic to Sandra.