Pamplona: The Running of the Bulls - Party Climate
So you’ve been skydiving. And rock climbing. And whitewater rafting. And bungee jumping. And now you’ve got the “been there, done that” blues. Well, maybe it’s time to give Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls a shot – and to experience a whole new kind of adrenaline rush.
Before we get into the details, we’re going to throw in a little disclaimer here. Although some of us have done the run multiple times, we want to make it very clear that we in no way condone or encourage running from powerful, angry bulls stampeding down the cobbled streets of Pamplona. As with any high-risk adventure, you need to research the pros and cons and decide for yourself if you want to put yourself in peril. If you do choose to run, all we ask is that you first arm yourself with the necessary information and advice that will get you through the run in one piece. You should also realize that the Fiesta de San Fermín (which includes
the Running of the Bulls) is an amazing experience even if you don’t run. You won’t be bored, you won’t be gored, and if anyone gives you any lip about sitting this one out, just take comfort in the fact that, unlike some unlucky runners, you’ll have no trouble sitting down when it’s over.
The Fiesta de San Fermín takes place in Pamplona every year from July 6 to 14 in honor of San Fermín, the co-patron saint, along with St. Francis Xavier, of Navarra. While the daily Running of the Bulls is certainly a highlight, these nine days are given over entirely to mad celebration that turns Pamplona into one big citywide party as revelers take to the streets for drinking, dancing, and carousing. The festival kicks off with a bang with the pyrotechnic chupinazo (or txupinazo in the Basque language), a rocket launched at noon on the 6th of July from a balcony above Plaza del Ayuntamiento. The celebration then continues nonstop, day and night, with street parties, parades, concerts, bullfights, fireworks, twenty-four hour bars and
clubs, and an entire town of people with apparently no need for sleep.
While in Pamplona, you will undoubtedly participate in or watch at least one Running of the Bulls, attend a bullfight, and party your way through Old Town and Parque de la Ciudadela. If you can find the time, you may even take a brief afternoon siesta – you’ll likely need it to recover from the whirlwind of San Fermín.