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Running of the bulls reading
Running of the bulls reading
Running of the bulls reading
Running of the bulls reading
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Running of the bulls reading


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  • 1. Running of the Bulls | San Fermin 2012 | SanFermin Pamplona Spain 2012 The fiestas of San Fermin are celebrated in Irunea/Pamplona, in the region of Navarra, every year from the 6th to the 14th of July. They have become internationally known because of the running of the bulls, where the bulls are lead through the streets of the old quarter as far as the bull ring by runners. The fiestas are celebrated in honor of San Fermin, patron saint of Navarra, although the religious aspect would seem to have taken on a secondary role over the last number of years. Nowadays, the fiestas are seen as a mass gathering of people from all the corners of the world and where the partying, the fun and the joy of it all are the most outstanding ingredients. The Encierro ... The Running of the Bulls The Encierro is the event at the heart of the Sanfermines and makes the fiesta a spectacle that would be unimaginable in any other place in the world. It was born from need: getting the bulls from outside the city into the bullring. The encierro takes place from July 7th to 14th and starts at the corral in Calle Santo Domingo
  • 2. when the clock on the church of San Cernin strikes eight o"clock in the morning.After the launching of two rockets, the bulls charge behind the runners for 825metres, the distance between the corral and the bullring. The run usually lastsbetween three and four minutes although it has sometimes taken over ten minutes,especially if one of the bulls has been isolated from his companions.Chants to San FerminThe bull run has a particularly emotional prelude. It is when the runners, just a fewmetres up the slope from the corral where the bulls are waiting, raise their rollednewspapers and chant to an image of San Fermin placed in a small recess in thewall in the Cuesta de Santo Domingo. Against the strongest of silences, thefollowing words can be heard: "A San Fermin pedimos, por ser nuestro patron, nosguie en el encierro dandonos su bendicion." (We ask San Fermin, being our patronsaint, to guide us in the bull run and give us his blessing). When they finish theyshout "Viva San Fermin!, Gora San Fermin." This chant is sung three times before8am first, then when there are five minutes to go before 8am, then three minutesand one minute before the gate of the corral is opened.Rockets in the bullringThe third rocket, fired from the bullring, signals that all the bulls have entered thebullring. A fourth and final rocket indicates that all the bulls are safely in the corrallocated inside the bullring, and that the bull run has ended.A fence of 3,000 partsFor security reasons, a double fence marks out the route of the bull run through thestreets. It is made of over 3,000 wooden parts (planks, posts, gates, etc.). Part ofthe fence stays put throughout the fiesta but other sections are assembled anddisassembled every day by a special brigade of workers.The role of the pastoresA large number of pastores (bull "shepherds") cover the entire bull run. They placethemselves behind the bulls, with their only protection being a long stick. Theirmain role is to stop the odd idiot from inciting the bulls from behind, to avoid the
  • 3. bulls turning round and running backwards, and to help any bulls that have stoppedor have been separated from their companions to continue running towards thebullring.The dobladoresOther key people in the bull run are the dobladores, people with good bullfightingknowledge (sometimes ex-bullfighters) who take up position in the bullring withcapes to help the runners "fan out" (in other words, run to the sides after theyenter the bullring) and "drag" the bulls towards the corral as quickly as possible.The two groups of mansos (bullocks)The six fighting bulls that will take part in the evening bullfight start the runaccompanied by an initial group of mansos, which act as "guides" to help the bullscover the route. Two minutes after leaving the corral in Santo Domingo, a secondgroup of bullocks (the so-called "sweep-up" group), which are slower and smallerthan the first one, are let out to lead any bulls that might have stopped or been leftbehind in the bull run towards the bullring.Useful information about the bull runThe encierro is an unrepeatable experience for spectators and runners alike. It is aspectacle that is defined by the level of risk and the physical ability of the runners.An inexperienced runner should learn about the characteristics of this dangerous"race" (although it should not be considered as a race) before starting, and alsoabout the protective measures to be taken for his/her own safety and that of thepeople running alongside.Not everyone can run the encierro. It requires cool nerves, quick reflexes and agood level of physical fitness. Anyone who does not have these three should nottake part. It is a highly risky enterprise.Runners should start somewhere between the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (City HallSquare) and the pink-slab Education building in the Cuesta of Santo Domingo, andthey should be there before 7:30am because entry to the run is closed from that
  • 4. time on. The rest of the run, except for the stretch mentioned above, must becompletely clear of runners until a few minutes before 8am.What is not allowed in the bull run People under 18 years of age, who must not run or participate. Crossing police barriers placed to ensure that the run goes off smoothly. Standing in areas and places along the route that have been expressly prohibited by the municipal police force. Before the bulls are released, waiting in corners, blind spots, doorways or in entrances to other establishments located along the run. Leaving doors of shops or entrances to apartments open along the route. The responsibility for ensuring these doors are closed lies with the owners or tenants of the properties. Being in the bull run while drunk, under the effects of drugs or in any other improper manner. Carrying objects that are unsuitable for the run to take place correctly. Wearing inappropriate clothes or footwear for the run. Inciting the bulls or attracting their attention in any manner, and for whatever reason, along the route of the run or in the bullring. Running backwards towards the bulls or running behind them. Holding, harassing or maltreating the bulls and stopping them from moving or being led to the pens in the bullring. Stopping along the run and staying on the fence, barriers or in doorways in such a way that the run or the safety of other runners is jeopardised. Taking photographs inside the run, or from the fences or barriers without due authorisation. Carrying objects that are unsuitable for the good order and security of the bull run. Installing elements that invade horizontal, vertical or aerial space along the bull run, unless expressly authorised by the Mayor"s Office. Any other action that could hamper the bull run taking place normally.