Yesterday, July 6th, was the first day of San Fermín or Sanfermines in Pamplona, in celebration of Saint Fermín. As is tradition, it starts with a rocket, and turns into a giant, joyous, drunken party in the streets. The events to follow have changed over the centuries, with the addition of Riau Riau in 1914 (actual singing, words and lyrics, Spanish Wiki page with lyrics) in 1914, and most recently, leaving of candles and red bandanas at the Church of San Lorenzo, following the singing of Pobre de Mi. Oh, and there's the running of the bulls (route, photos from yesterday's run, previously). [more inside]
That most peculiar of spectacles the Fiesta de san Fermín (Running of the Bulls) seems to still exist and will be going ahead tomorrow. The event is held in parallel with Feria del Toro (the Bullfighting Fair); the run itself seems to be in the interests of transporting the bulls to the fair while getting them good and angry, confused, scared and weakened in the process. Being that the event is in honor of Saint Fermín, when the San Fermín church strikes 8am, the bulls are released and the runners get underway, trying to avoid them on their just under 1km trip. On arrival at the Plaza del Toro (Bullring) they are herded into corrals and later released so the crowd can watch the matadors kill them in traditional bullfighting fashion [wmv: 380k | 150k | 56k]. Of course, many people are not really so keen on this event; and it seems PETA will be holding one of their typically daft protests. Can't people just throw tomatoes at each other or something?