Happy Monday Everyone!
Back to the real world and all my grown-up responsibilities. While I am sipping my green tea Matcha, I wanted to update you all on why I took a small leave of absence from the blogging world. I was taking part in Pamplona’s local fiestas. But before I start grab a cuppa because I have tons to tell.Of all the cities in Spain, Pamplona is the one I consider my home. I have lived, studied, and visited the city for the last several years. I even learned to speak Spanish here in the beautiful city and every time I come back I feel like another Pamplonica. So it’s only normal that I explode with joy when it’s time to celebrate the fiesta of San Fermines.
¿San Fermines or The Running of the Bulls?
Maybe now you’re scratching your head and asking, ”What is San Fermines?” also known as “The Running of the Bulls (for anyone outside of Spain)” it’s one of the biggest international events, holiday and parties of all times. I am talking nine whole days of uninterrupted partying; San Fermines is the type of event that should be on your bucket list to enjoy at least once in your lifetime.
The perfect attire; dress to impress
During this “fiesta” it’s very normally that everyone wears all white attire with a red scarf and red sash around their waist. The scarf is first placed on your wrist on during the Txupinazo on July 6th. The Txupinazo is what marks the beginning of the San Fermin Festival. It is a ceremony in which you take the scarf from your wrist to your neck to commence the beginning of the celebration, but if you’re looking for a wild and crazy way to celebrate the Txupinazo make sure you go to the City Hall to celebrate. You won’t be disappointed!
The history SF in a nut-shell
A century old tradition that started in medieval times and has continued uninterrupted since 1592. The actual running of the bulls is repeated every morning at 8:00am July 7th to 14th. However runner any anyone else who would like to participate should arrive to their running section by at least 7:30am. The length of the run is approximately 825 meters through various streets in the city center of Pamplona and is about 4 minutes of mayhem. Most years the entire run is completed in less than 4 minutes, but sometimes there are complications. Please remember; even those running with the bulls may look fun and innocent it is an extremely dangerous activity where people have lost their lives, the bulls are very large wild animals with very sharp horns. SO be careful if you decide to run!
Let’s do this thing right!
Prior to the commencement of the bull running runner will sing “Viva San Fermín” three times before 8am to ask Saint Fermín for protection, while running with the bulls. Two rockets are then lit:
Rocket 1: It’s go time the corral has opened its gate and freeing all of the bulls
Rocket 2: Last bull has left the corrals
It is also normal that two other rockets are lit to advise everyone when the bulls have arrived to the bullring and when the Bull Run has finished.
So now what!?!
During the day, I enjoyed watching the city’s many parades. Here you get to see how a small city of one million habitants grows to a quarter of a million (normally international folks) in just a matter of days. It’s amazing! I had the chance to visiting the local market place and carnival to snack on all kinds of “carni” food. This is just a fraction of the things offered by the city, but there is always something new and exciting to do while in Pamplona.
This year I decided to stick with a more sober side of San Fermines, and I had the BEST time! Don’t get me wrong I still went out and danced the nights away; the only difference is that I decided not to put any hard liqueur into my system. In the midday I opted for a lite beer or glass of Sangria and in the very wee hours of the night; tonic water with lemon and lime, as well as the occasional shot of espresso with a pinch of Baily’s. Woo Hoo! Lets get the party started.
To all the “Single Ladies”
To my female readers I would like to take a moment to advise you to be VERY cautious during these festivals against any type of sexual aggressions especially during the night hours. Even though everyone is respectful for the most part and tries to help if they see injustice. These are things that happen in many places when you mix large groups of people with alcohol in their system.. This is why it is very important to keep in mind that the probability of a sexual aggression is very high during this time, especially for females travelling alone. For this reason I would advise you to:
- Always travel in groups or with another person
- Do not let anyone pressure you into doing anything
- Always trust your gut feeling and if you feel uncomfortable walk away from the situation or gesture to your friends for help. “Better safe than sorry.”
- If you have to go home early take a taxi
- I even take a very loud whistle on my key chain just in case of emergencies
Simple tips to avoid an awkward situation, plus there are many police officers and yellow vested volunteers to assist you all over the city to ensure your safety. So my goal is not to scare you but just to advise.
Need More Tips???
If your still yearning for more information on San Fermines, check out www.sanfermin.com where they provide every detail and answer all you need to know about this event.
Catch you on the flip side!