The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona

Running with the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain


Every year across Spain, hundreds of towns and villages hold festivals centered around an encierro, or running of the bulls. Since 1926, when Ernest Hemingway wrote The Sun Also Rises, the most famous running of the bulls has been in Pamplona, Spain during the Festival of San Fermín. The festival of San Fermín is known locally as Sanfermines and is held in honor of Saint Fermin. It’s a week-long celebration involving many different cultural events such as the Chupinazo, Riau-Riau, and the San Fermin procession, but the reason the vast majority of people come to Pamplona is the encierro.


Every morning at 8am, a dozen bulls are let loose and run through a course that’s been cordoned off in the city center. Thousands of runners set up along the course for a chance to risk their necks and run with the bulls. There are hundreds of injuries every year and 15 people have died in the past century as a result of the run. Despite the danger, over the past 80+ years, it has arguably become the most internationally renowned festival in Spain with over one million people attending every year.


Since I happened to be in Spain during the festival, I decided I just couldn’t pass it up. Luckily, I had company on this crazy adventure as Michael from decided to join me and together we braved the crowds, suited up and went running with the bulls on our first morning in town and watched from above on a balcony for the second morning. Here’s a short video from the second morning as we watched from a balcony safely above the fracas of Dead Man’s Corner…