The Spanish Language Blog

Spanish bullfights

Pamplona is a city located in northern Spain and is the capital of the province of Navarre. The city was founded by the Romans and is best known for its bull runs and bullfighting. It is also an important city on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostella.

The San Fermín fiestas

Bull runs in Pamplona take place during Las fiestas de San Fermín. This fiesta is held in honor of the patron saint San Fermín. The San Fermín fiestas used to take place in October, but due to the often bad weather, the fiestas were moved to the month of July. One of the most famous parts of the San Fermín fiestas San Fermín fiestas are the running of the bulls.

Every morning 'encierros' take place, which are bull runs where people run in front of the bulls. Bull runs originated because in the past the bulls had to be moved from the stables to the bullring, so they ran through the streets of the city. The distance from the stables to the bullring is a street 900 meters long that is very narrow in some places. In 8 days, 48 bulls are let loose in the streets, so per day this is 6 bulls. Along the route there are two rows of fences. The first row is for the riders who want to get out of the way of the bulls or for the riders who are injured, and the second row is for the spectators. Behind the first row are also the emergency workers in case medical attention is needed.

When the bulls are released from their stalls, one flare is fired. A second flare is then fired when all the bulls are in the street. The bull run lasts no more than a few minutes, but due to the adrenaline in the spectators and riders, it seems to last much longer. How dangerous these runs are depends on the number of participants; if there are many riders participating, there is little room for the bulls to get out of the way. Once all the bulls are in the arena, a third flare is agreed upon. Finally, a fourth flare is fired when all the bulls are in their stalls.
Daily bull runs are concluded with a bullfight. After the bull runs, a 'corrida' takes place every day at 6:30 pm.

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