Thursday, July 10, 2008

san fermin 2k8

My crazy primo español, Cesar, sent me these photos from his annual "pilgrimage" from Madrid to Pamplona for "Los San Fermínes".

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of reading one of my favorite novels The Sun Also Rises, or catching some ESPN footage of the intense Spanish tradition, I will explain (with the help of Marisol).

San Fermín is the annual nine day festival in Pamplona, Spain most famous for the "encierro" (aka, the running of the bulls). The tradition comes from the need to transport the bulls from their off-site corral to the ring where they will partake in a bullfight that evening. A slew of grouchy bulls (which can way up to 1,600 pounds) are released onto the cobblestone streets of Pamplona at 8am each day, and they run approximately half a mile to the bullring. The run takes approximately four minutes, and is televised throughout Spain.

Thousands of Spaniards stay up all night partying and then gather to watch and participate in the running of the bulls. Pretty much every year one or two people die and MANY more are injured or hospitalized by being trampled, or gored by bulls. My mom and cousins always talk about the estupid American tourists who try to run with the bulls, but don't know what they're doing (an American died running with the bulls in 1995).

The trick is to run with the bulls, not try to run ahead of them. You want to stay in the pack, because the only time a bull will really go for you is if he gets separated from the other bulls. You should never turn around to look at the bull, and if you happen to fall your best bet is to stay down, facing the ground, until the bulls have passed by/over you.

"It is important to get into their aura or space and keep the rhythm and constant speed with them so they don't attack you," Marisol explained to me.

Here's an intense and graphic youtube clip of the 2008 festivities. Below, my cousin's photos. He didn't run with the bulls, but he watched. AH to be at a bullfight with my cousin after a day of surfing and some sidra de manzana. mmmmm.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeaaaahhhh¡¡¡¡ Hope you Madame Lamb and your friends will came to Spain (Pamplona) to live this special party¡¡¡, it is really fun and I am sure you will enjoy a lot. The San Fermin begins the 6 of July "with the CHUPINAZO" at 12:00 in the afternoon. From that date and during the next 9 days people dont stop drink, dance, sining bulls songs and mitical songs¡¡¡¡¡. San Fermin finish the 14 of July with the "POBRE DE MI", where everyone are sat and begun to cry, we must wait for the next July¡¡¡¡¡.

Madame Lamb`s cousin: CESAR

Recent Posts