Friday, July 20, 2012

Spanish Festival of San Fermin - Festival of People and the Bulls

Spaniards are perhaps the most liveliest people around the world. The enjoy and celebrate festivals, even at the cost of hurting them - and hurting pretty badly.

Every July, the Spaniards celebrate the festival of San Fermin in the ancient city of Pamplona. While almost the entire city goes out in the street, there are bulls following. In fact the festival is about people and the untamed bulls. 

The festival of people and the bulls was first held in 1591 starting 7th of July. Initially the festival was for 2-3 days, later it was extended to July 10th and then to July the 4th - that means a clear seven days of excitement, cries, joy and wounds - sometimes very fatal too.

During the festival, the streets and cramped alleys are full of people of all ages and gender - making merry, shouting, running and enjoying. Normally they are clad in reds and it looks as if a red wave is flowing in each street and alley.

Watch a few glimpses of the festival below:

The daring ones run in the streets, while the less daring and old watch the festivities from their balconies with Spanish flags decorating the buildings.

If you are in the streets, be cautioned that you will be pushed in the cramped and crowed streets, really gasping for air. So dare if you can.

You may be lucky to see Muhammad Ali, the greatest, in the streets watching exhausted or knocked over fun lovers. Some even dare to take their small children in the deadly streets - and they too are seem to be enjoying the fun laded festival.

Bull-running became part of the festival in 17th and 18th century chronicles together with the presence of foreigners. In fact it is the bull-running that adds 'spice' to the festival.

Every afternoon between the 7th and 14th there is a bullfight in which the 6 bulls that have been driven to the bullring during the bullrunning of that day are killed. It begins at 18:30.

Every night a firework spectacle is held at the citadel park. Fireworks spectacles have been known to occur in Sanfermin as far back as 1595. Since the year 2000 an international fireworks contest is held. Thousands of people watch them seated on the grass around the citadel.

The aftermath of the festival is bruises, injuries and lots of litter on the streets. But despite the hazards and dangers, the festival of people and the bulls continues for centuries and people go home laughing and enjoying every day after the bulrunning is over. 

If you happen to be visiting Spain in the month of July, do attend the festivities of San Fermin in the ancient city of Pamplona - you will cherish the memories for as long as you live.

Photos Source: Funzug