Los Eventos The Txupinazo (Rocket)The kick-off to San Fremín happens on July 6 at midday every year. Thousands of people gather in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, where a rocket is lit up to signal the start of the celebrations. The Encierro (Bull Run)This is the most exciting part of the holiday, every morning at 8 am from July 7-14 bulls are released into the streets along with young people trying to run with them.
Los Eventos The Corrida (Bull Fight)This is an even more exciting part of the fiesta than the encierro, which after all would not exist if it were not for the bullfight. It is held every afternoon from July 7 to 14 at 6.30 pm. The ProcessionThe Procession of San Fermín takes place on July 7 at 10 am. It is a religious affair, involving the statue of the saint and various official bodies. Giants and Cabezudos (Big Heads)These are the most important figures carried by dancers in the comparsa, the parade which entertains people in the mornings of San Fermín.
Other Events There is always something happening in San Fermín: a concert, a firework display, the struendo (drum banging) According to the municipal website, "158 programmed performances ... happen 24 hours a day throughout the festival, every 90 minutes there is a different act.“ The Pobre de Mi (Poor Old Me) At midnight on July 14, Pamplonas peñas, party clubs, gather in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento to sing this only half-ironic tragic song. The "Poor Old Me" has a double meaning, not only grieving for the end of the fiesta, but also when the singer finds himself sad after eight days of non-stop partying.
You Should Know… What to Wear- July in Navarre is usually hot. You are not obliged to wear the traditional San Fermín red-and-white combo, but you will feel less out of place if you do and probably enjoy yourself more. It isn’t much just: white trousers and shirt, with a red neckerchief.
You Should Know..(continued) Food and Drink- San Fermín is not just a drunken revelry, in fact it is a thoroughly family oriented affair. But if you are drinking, and something tells me you might be, take my advice, eat as much as you can, when you can, and try not to get carried away with the drinking euphoria: the idea is to reach a level of intoxication and maintain it, not go over the top. Your staple food will probably be bocadillos and raciones, but Pamplona has taverns and restaurants aplenty.
Practical Information In 2011 Pamplona City Hall carried out a survey which tells us that 20,500 people in total took part in the running of the bulls this year. Plenty of info on The City, Shopping, Shows, Drinking, Eating, and Addresses.
History Tradition tells us that a priest named Honesto arrived in Roman Pamplona sent by Saint Saturnino to evangelize the town, and that Senator Firmo was converted to Christianity along with his family. Fermin, his son, was taught by Honesto, and when he was 17 years old, he began to preach in the surrounding area. Later, when he was 24 years old, he was confirmed as a bishop by Honorato, the prelate of Toulouse. At 31 years of age, Fermín left to preach the Gospel in Gaul: at first in Aquitaine, Auvergne and Anjou, and finally in Armens, where he succeeded in achieving a great many conversions and where he was imprisoned. On September 25, he was beheaded.
History (Continued) His body, which was buried in secret by some Christians, was found, amazingly enough, centuries later, on January 13, 615, in the bishopric of San Salvio. It was moved to a nearby city where some magnificent Gothic reliefs from the 15th century, located in the space behind the altar of the cathedral where his remains are conserved.
Comparsa de Gigantes In 1607 one Joanes de Azcona is named as being responsible for bringing out the assemblage of Giants along with a minstrel who was responsible for providing the accompanying music. In 1620 it is recorded that a carpenter, Joan de Torrobas, was paid 88 "reales" to mend four Giants.