Pamplona gets ready to celebrate the Sanfermines. Read this news to know more about it.
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Pamplona gets ready to celebrate the Sanfermines’ myth one more year

Popular culture says that Sanfermines changes the people of Pamplona and every one around there since July 6th. It might be right because the number of visitors increases in the city those days, despite the economic crisis. Anyway, Pamplona (Navarra, Spain) is counting the days left to celebrate the Sanfermines myth for two hundred hours.


This festivity has been promoted by culture and literature around the world since “The sun also rises” (1932), – “Fiesta” in the Spanish translation – written by Ernest Hemingway. It has become 52 years since this writer died.

From that moment, Sanfermines appear in the literature, cinema and journalism, as affirmed Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian-Spanish writer and the Literature Nobel prize-winning, when he was in Pamplona in 2005.

However, there is other phenomenon that contributes to a massive participation of the visitors. People don’t go to Pamplona only as a spectator, but also to participate and live the infectious joy. They wear white clothes with a red scarf since the famous “chupinazo” until the “pobre de mi” (poor of me).

The celebrations start with the Sanfermines’ chupinazo

Sanfermines start in Pamplona the July 6th at twelve o’clock from the city council’s principal balcony. The first rocket is received with hurrahs and prayers to the Saint, after the official shout: “Pamploneses, pamplonesas, ¡Viva San Fermín! (People from Pamplona, Hurrah to Saint Fermín!)

Then, nine days of continuous celebrations begin with bulls, running, traditional dances, as the espadrille performed in the Casino, and other improvised dances on the streets or those organized by groups.

One of those traditional dances is the Giants and “Cabezudos” group which represent the four continents. A court of 8 kings goes across the streets of the Pamplona’s centre every day and it is preceded by “cabezudos, kilikis and zaldikos” (horses)

They compound 25 attractive, papier mâché figures that dance on the streets to the rhythm of txistularis and bagpipes.

Generally, the American people represent the foreign visitors more frequents to this celebrations, next to French due to its geographic proximity, and also British, Italian, German and Latin-American.

In spite of not being in Pamplona those days, if you wear white and red clothes, you will have to answer the same and repeatedly question: Are you celebrating the Sanfermines?

We pray to Saint Fermín that he guides us during the running: if you don’t know how to do it, do not run in front of the bulls

Pamplona is known by its nine consecutive days of runnings when people run in front of the bulls on the streets. “The television live broadcast of the running has increased its legend and also it has brought a dangerous overcrowding”, admits the city council on the Sanfermines official web site.

The running are preceded by four rockets. The first one, at 8 o’clock in the morning, opens the pens’ door and police move away; the second one indicates that the herd of bulls is out; the third one informs that bulls and tame bullocks are in the bull ring and the fourth rocket announces that the herd of bulls is inside the pens.

Before the running, people invoke the Saint to ask for protection with a newspaper on the hand, in front of a niche at the beginning of Saint Domingo’s hill. The singing is repeated three times with a space of two minutes.

“A San Fermín pedimos/ por ser nuestro patrón/ nos guíe en el encierro/ dándonos su bendición” (We pray to Saint Fermín/because he is our patron saint/he guides us during the running/and give us his blessing), says the letter.

That is singed from long time ago because life is put in danger. Year by year, authorities recommends that mustn’t run in front of bulls the under eighteen people or those neighbours without a previous training. They advice it because of the goring and some deaths.

”Pobre de mí”, celebration is over

The July, 14th night indicates the end of Sanfermines in the same place where it started: the city council square. Neighbours of Pamplona go there to say goodbye to the Saint with the last “Viva San Fermín”, after singing the famous and popular:

”Pobre de mí, pobre de mí, ya se acabó la fiesta de San Fermín” (Poor of me, poor of me, the Saint Fermin celebration is over)

After that, in Pamplona, people would not have sleep too much, but they would have eaten and drunk too much.

(June 17, 2013, EFE/Practica Español)

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El 7 de julio
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