Posts Tagged ‘Fiesta de San Fermin’

Pamplona, Spain: Fiesta de San Fermin

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Festivals are all about celebrating and living life to the full. They mark the change of seasons, religious occasions, royal coronations, harvests and birthdays. But then again, sometimes they’re just an excuse for a good old-fashioned knees-up.

It's Fiesta Time!

It's Fiesta Time!

Europe’s festival circuit is one of the oldest, most famous and most diverse in the world. It includes food fights, lighting fires, running from animals, toasting with copious amounts of beer and celebrating the arts.

For visitors, festivals offer an invaluable opportunity to get up-close and personal with local cultures and share in a memorable travel experience by taking part in age old traditions.

The Fiesta de San Fermin in Pamplona, Spain (famous, or infamous, for Running of the Bulls) includes traditions that date back to 75BC.

Celebrations begin at midday on July 6 with a speech from the town’s mayor. After the speech, the mayor lets off a rocket signally the start of the festival.

For nine days, Pamplona is transformed into a loud, raucous non-stop street party with daily firework displays, bull runs (encierro) and the ever controversial bullfights.

Early Birds

If you’re looking to participate in one of the 8am bull runs, or just watch from the sidelines, you’re in for an early morning.

Spectators start claiming the best viewing spots from 5am and from 7am loud brass bands make their way through the crowd to make sure everyone stays awake!

Official San Fermin Uniform

Official San Fermin Uniform

What to Wear

One of the first things you’ll notice at the festival are the striking red scarves worn during the celebration in combination with white trousers and shirts. The scarves are worn in remembrance of Saint Fermin, the town’s first bishop, who became a martyr after he was beheaded in France.

So make sure you bring along a seat of white clothes (they wont stay white for long) or you can buy the complete outfit for €20-€50 once you get to the festival.

Closing Ceremony

Timing your trip to coincide with the festival’s Closing Ceremony you’re in for a treat!

After 204 hours of non-stop fiesta, the day begins with the daily bull-run at 8am followed by the usual parades and festivities in the lead up to final act - some of the finest evening street fiestas and fireworks you’ll ever witness!

Young & Old Celebrate San Fermin

Young & Old Celebrate Fiesta de San Fermin

Things officially wrap up at midnight on July 14, with party-goers each carrying a single candle and singing “Pobre de Mí, Pobre de Mí, que se han acabado las fiestas, de San Fermín” (“poor me, poor me, for the fiesta of San Fermín has come to a close”), but celebrations last well into the wee-small hours.

What next? Now it’s time for the locals to start counting down to next year’s festival!

Thinking of heading to Pamplona? Topdeck has several seats available on its 4 day trip leaving July 12.