Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls

Photo by San Fermin Pamplona - Navarra on Unsplash

Popularized to the greater public in Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises, the famous Running of the Bulls festival held every summer in Pamplona, Spain has become a destination for over a million people on average.

While this world-famous festival is generally well-known, there are some secrets and fun facts about Pamplona’s biggest celebration that many people aren’t aware of. Let’s learn some more about it!

The Festival’s Real Name is “The Festival of San Fermin”

The reason that this festival was founded hundreds of years ago was to honor Saint Fermin, the patron saint of the city. Traditional participants in the festival, especially those who are from Pamplona, pay tribute to the saint at church services and at a famous figurine of him. He also gives his name to the festival’s real name, which isn’t “The Running of the Bulls!”

Selfies are Illegal!

If you choose to participate in one of the heart-stopping runnings of the bulls throughout the festival, leave your selfie stick at home. It is now illegal to take selfies while participating in this risky tradition, as the authorities determined that too many people were being injured while distracted with selfies.

It All Starts with a Txupinazo

The traditional kickoff to the festival on July 6th at 12 pm is a skyrocket which is launched from the balcony of the city’s town hall, marking the beginning of the festivities. Revelers camp out for hours to get a spot in the square in front of the town hall in order to see it in person.