The Running of the Bulls is a time-honored tradition in Spain—it is one of the most iconic, popular and controversial events during the San Fermin Festival.
Let’s take a look at when this famous occasion takes place, the daily schedule of activities and more.
When: The San Fermin Festival begins on Saturday, July 6, and features an opening ceremony, fireworks and partying, but no bull runs.
Beginning on Sunday, July 7, and continuing through the end of the festival on Sunday, July 14, bull runs start at 8 a.m. CEST and culminate with bullfighting at approximately 6:30 p.m. CEST at the historic Plaza de Toros de Pamplona.
Where: Pamplona, Spain
Over the course of nine straight days in early July, revelers will often engage in alcohol consumption, partying and other merrymaking in Pamplona, the capital city of the Navarre.
However, nothing is more popular than the daily bull runs, which Ernest Hemingway brought to international attention with his classic 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises.
The festival is a large reason why northern Spain is such a popular tourist destination for one week every summer.
Thousands of attendees risk life and limb in an attempt to evade or outrun a herd of bulls unleashed into the streets of Pamplona.
Fifteen people have died in the 89 years that records have been kept, and countless have been maimed and gored by the beasts in that span.
It’s also been the site for numerous animal rights protests and a place for activists to congregate.
Benjamin Zephaniah of The Guardian noted that 48 bulls are “tormented and butchered” each year.
While the animals are considered a delicacy and served up at fine dining establishments at the conclusion of the daily events, PETA and other groups have tried to put an end to the controversial practice of bullfighting.
It will likely be a hotly debated topic for years to come, but it doesn’t seem that the Running of the Bulls will be coming to an end anytime soon.