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Surviving the Pamplona Running of the Bulls

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

The Running of the Bulls

One of Spain's most iconic festivals is the Sanfermines Festival in honor of Saint Fermin, more commonly known as the annual Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. 8 days, 849 meters, 200% pure adrenaline and a city wide sangria-soaked street party - are you ready?

Running of the Bulls in the streets of Pamplona

Parts of The Running of the Bulls

The festival is split into two parts - the opening day and the following seven days. The festival begins on the opening day with the lighting of the chupinazo, a pyrotechnic rocket, at noon followed by water, flour and wine fights in the streets of Pamplona. The rest of week, the town falls into a routine of morning bull runs, and late night parties. In a breakneck and obstacle-packed race every morning, hundreds of people run through the old part of town in front of the bulls until they reach the bullring - three thrilling minutes of unrivaled risk and exhilaration are the reason this event is so well known all around the world.

Pamplona Running of the Bulls Festivities beginning

Traditions of The Running of the Bulls

Tradition says that you only wear the distinctive red scarf on your neck while the festival lasts. So, before the rocket is fired, people will have it on their wrist or in their pocket. When the festival begins, the scarf is moved to the neck or the head.

Locals and Tourists in the traditional red scarves during Pamplona Running of the Bulls

Activities During The Running of the Bulls

Even though the Running of the Bulls is the best-known event of the Sanfermines fiestas, by no means is it the only one. It is also worth going to a bullfight during this festival particularly because the special atmosphere is unlike any other bullfighting event. All throughout the day, you can be sure that wherever you go you will find excitement and fun for all. From drinking and dancing in the "peñas" with locals and tourists alike and enjoying open-air dancing and concerts, to going to the parade of giants and "cabezudos", figures with enormous papier-mâché heads, the San Fermin Festival offers it all!

Cabezudos dancing in the parade during Pamplona Running of the Bulls

Participation in The Running of the Bulls

Everyone who takes part in the festivities does so with the utmost joy and respect at the forefront, and if you come to Sanfermines, you should also share in these values for others to get more out of your visit. The most attractive side of the fiestas lies in the fact that you're not experiencing the whole thing as a mere onlooker or visitor, but are actually in full active participation as well, just like the locals.

Pamplona Running of the Bulls or San Fermin Parade

If you are planning to go, just have a laid-back attitude and let things unfold as they do. We promise you will have a great time!

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