Now in Spain: Running of the Bulls

by Makeda Amadi

Pastores (bull shepards) brandishing willow reeds try to steer a lone bull. Photo: xavi talleda / Flickr

You may be sitting at your desk reading this, but in Spain right now, they're going loco for the toros.

PAMPLONA, Spain – It's the time again: The annual San Fermin festival, which runs from July 6-14 in Pamplona, Spain. It's a celebration of food and music and dance, with processions and fireworks. But they're not trying to fool anyone: The main event is the Running of the Bulls. And this year, as every year, swarms of Spaniards — and even more alcohol-fueled tourists — show up to try to outsmart and outrun the bulls on a race through the streets. Every day. It's a madhouse. Here's what you're missing.

Bulls in Pamplona

Photo: / Flickr


Plaza de Toros de Pamplona, endpoint of the running of the bulls. Photo: carthesian / Flickr The official website of the San Fermin Festival outlines acceptable behavior (mooning is encouraged), provides up-to-date injury counts, and explains why all the revelers are wearing red scarves

Top 10 Tips for Running with the Bulls: Some helpful advice for the fresh meat — that is, freshman — competitor. Helpful gems include: Don't drink and run for your life. Don't start at the beginning. And if you slip and fall, don't panic. (MTV Iggy)

Rules for Running with the Bulls: Shrug off you naiveté and strap on some manhood. A seasoned American lays down survival guidelines and safety how-tos. He gives a warning that may come as a surprise: no cameras. Why? Because apparently you will get injured for getting in the way, and not necessarily from a bull. (The Philly Pena's Blog)

How to Run with the Bulls: A seasoned Encierro-goer (to use the official term for the event) breaks down of the course with a handy map and advice on where to start according to your level of experience. (Outside Online)

Gramfeed filters the most recent Festival photos from Instagram. Have a browse for cute outfits, matadors, beer, bulls, and canoodling lovebirds. The hashtags you want are #pamplona and #sanfermin.


A minute of bull running action, complete with some slips and falls but nobody getting hurt. Well, not too badly. (Telegraph)

Gratuitous bull-running footage, this time from a camera strapped to a participant's head. (We love YouTube.)


The Dying Art of the Bullfight, by Glynnis MacNicol
The Sun Also Rises (an excerpt)