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How the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona Originated

By Nancy Gallen Subscribe to RSS | August 24th 2012 | Views:

Running in a crowded street with a pack of raging bulls thundering right behind you may not be your idea of fun but it is for quite a lot of people in Pamplona. Locals and tourists from all over the world visit Pamplona each year to witness and participate in the famous running of the bulls festival. This popular festival is specifically known as the San Fermin Running of the Bulls which is a festival that has been celebrated since the ancient times. Its origin dates back to the 15th century where it was originally held in the month of October. It is a series of festivals that culminates in the San Fermin Running of the Bulls. The series of festivals include the religious celebration of the feast of San Fermin who is the patron saint of Navarra and Pamplona, a few commercial festivals and the bullfighting festival.

In the past the festivals were celebrated in a very serious and solemn way but as the years went by, the celebrations became more joyous and festive. The festival was later moved to the month of July because the weather is more favourable during this time of the year. This ensured that the weather will be sunny and warm during the celebration of the festival.

During the ancient times, the festival was celebrated without the running of the bulls. This part of the festival was later added out of the people’s need for some adrenaline rush and reckless fun. The running of the bulls occurred as the bulls were released from the pens to be led to the bullring in preparation for the bullfights that will occur in the evening. Some of the locals came up with the idea to turn this normally dull part of the festival into a very exciting one by having people run in front of the bulls as they head for the bull ring. This kind of event may be considered illegal in some countries due to its very high element of danger that could lead to injuries and even death but in Pamplona it is considered as a very integral and exciting part of the celebration of their festival.

This festival is celebrated in honour of San Fermin also known as San Fermin de Amiens who hailed from Pamplona which was called Pompaelo in the past. He was the son of a Roman Senator. He travelled to far places at a young age to preach the Christian Doctrine. He became a bishop when he was only 24 and he was martyred when he was only 31. Local legends say that San Fermin was killed through decapitation after being tied up to a bull and then dragged all over the streets of Pamplona.

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