Guadalinfo Albondón San Fermin by Ma Carmen & Isabel
San Fermin – Pamplona 7 a 14 de Julio
The origin of the San Fermines festival goes back centuries. This festival is famous all around the world because Ernest Hemingway was very enthusiastic about it & wrote about it. It's actual form is a result of evolution from the Middle Ages. This religious event in honor of San Fermin (before the twelfth century) the trade fairs and bullfights (before the fourteenth century) are the three celebrations giving rise to the San Fermin Festival.
The people of Pamplona used to celebrate San Fermin on the twenty fourth of September, but due to the bad weather in the autumn, they changed the date to the seventh of July. Pamplona's population during that week grows from one hundred and ninety thousand to two million, eight hundred thousand. It is recorded in the Town Hall that since the year fifteen ninety one, there was a “Pregón de Fiestas” which is a speech by an important person of the Town, “Torneo con lanzas” which is a combat with spears and horses, theater, dance, processions & bullfights.
Since the year nineteen fifty the festival lost a lot of its religious components. The people of Pamplona who were a population of twenty thousand, used to meet in the Town square, collect the Mayor and go to church. When the mass finished, they would all walk together through the streets. The “Txupinazo” Rockets: The rocket launch is on the sixth of June at twelve am & is launched from the balcony of the City council to announce the start of the festival. The phrase that is said by the crowd at the launch is “¡Pamploneses, Pamploneses!, ¡Viva San Fermin!” and “¡Gora San Fermin!” The “Riau-Riau”: Is when the thousands of people occupying the square sing and dance traveling from the City council to the Church.
The “Encierro” Bull run: This is the most emblematic part of San Fermin. Every morning from the seventh of July until the fourteenth of July at eight am, the bulls which are to be used in that afternoons bullfight, run to the Bull ring and hundreds of “Mozos” run with them. The runners assemble hours beforehand to take up their positions along the route. There are only two ways for them to enter as the rest of the route is closed off. They can enter from the “Plaza del Mercado” or the “Plaza Consitorial”. A rocket is let off to signal that the gate is opened and another rocket is let off when the bulls have left their compound. The runners do not race the bulls, which would be impossible, but they run ahead of them, trying to keep up with the pace, about fifty meters being as much as is recommendable to try before getting out of their way, as clearly as possible. Before running, the participants request help from San Fermin, through songs .
The Bull run appeared in the Middle Ages when Pastors took the bulls from the field to the “Plaza”, the night before the bullfights. They camped near the Town & in the morning they came into the Town&b were accompanied by the people that by foot or on horse, helped with sticks y shouting to guide them into the pens. They started to run ahead of the bulls at the end of the nineteenth century.
The “Corrida”, Bullfight: To purists, this is even more a central part of the Fiesta than the “Encierro”, which after all would not exist if it were not for the bullfights. It is held every afternoon from the seventh of July until the fourteenth of July at six thirty pm. The race is located at the old section of the town where 6 bulls are launched at the slope of “santo domingo” street and go up with 8 halters, shepherds and runners until “consistorial” square (until the bull ring - normally runners are dressed in white and red and shepherds are dressed in green with a green armband. The journey lasts about four and a half minutes.
The Procession: The procession of San Fermin takes place on the seventh of July at ten am. It is a religious affair. The “Gigantes y Cabezudos” Giants and Big heads: The parade which entertains the people in the morning is the “Comparsa” . The 8 giants are made of wood, cardboard and fabric and they represent royal couples of the world. In the afternoon, the parade is the parade of the “Callejeros” and at night there are fireworks. “ El Pobre de mi” Poor old me: At midnight on the fourteenth of July, Pamplonas “Peñas” which are party goers, gather in the Plaza of the Town hall to sing this half-ironic tragic song which goes; “ pobre de mi, pobre de mi, que se han acabado las fiestas de San Fermin” which means, poor old me, poor old me, the fiestas of San Fermin have finnised.