Connecting People, Traditions & Generations

Sanfermin, the festival in Pamplona, Spain that is best known for the Running of the Bulls, takes place every year from July 7 to 14.

The event is named for Saint Fermin, the first bishop of Pamplona and a Catholic martyr. It’s said that the bull running became tradition after Saint Fermin was dragged through the streets to his death, trailed by angry bulls.

The fiestas, parties, and bull running happen right in the open streets of Pamplona, where people all celebrate together. Everyone is considered an equal participant, not just a spectator. The traditional red scarves associated with Saint Fermin are worn around the neck while the festival lasts.

The Running of the Bulls, famously portrayed by Ernest Hemingway in his novel The Sun Also Rises, is the most well known part of the fiesta. Bull running happens every morning at 8am, and lasts for only a few minutes. About 2,000 people a day run in front of six fighting bulls and six tamed bell-oxen for 875 meters through the streets of Pamplona. Spectators watch from balconies above the street. After the bull running, young heifers are released for runners and crowds to play with.