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Monday, June 2, 2008 (read 1279 times)
Pamplona's San Ferminby Stacey
San Fermin is a religious festivity dating back several centuries honoring Pamplona's patron saint. The typical San Fermin outfit is to be dressed in head-to-toe white and have a red scarf tied around your neck. The symbolism behind it is that the red represents the blood that was shed by the martyr when he was beheaded. But the most prominent event within this celebration is el Encierro (the confinement), made popular to the English-speaking world by American writer Ernest Hemingway in his novel 'The Sun also Rises.' San Fermin is a celebration that goes on for an entire week … so for 7 days it really does becomes the city that never sleeps.
It all starts with a blast-off on 12 noon of July 6 called 'el Chupinazo', signaling that the party has officially started. It is the moment where the entire city roars with joy while waving their red scarves in the air. Fireworks start booming, champagne corks go flying, bands start playing and people start dancing in the streets until midnight of the last day, July 14. The running of the bulls takes place on the second day and it goes on every morning at 8am sharp until the end of the festival. Even though San Fermin seems to be aimed towards adults due to the partying that goes on, there is also room for kids to have fun: the masquerade procession of Giants and Bigheads is a favorite. The Giants chase kids to playfully hit them with a pole-strung sponge and the Bigheads surprise them with a bow and a dance. Kids are also chased by a fake bull in a corral and many other folklore events can be seen and enjoyed by the entire family. The close of the festival is marked by the crowd singing a touching 'Pobre de Mi' in a night time candlelit procession finished off by fireworks as a grand sad farewell until next year's event.
Intrigued? Then make your way to Pamplona for a perfect opportunity to see the San Fermines for yourself, while you brush up your Spanish skills. This year, don Quijote's partner school in Pamplona will offer a special Spanish + San Fermines course during the festival. Learn Spanish, learn about the San Fermines and experience Pamplona during this exciting time!
Don't miss this unique opportunity to see this legendary fiesta up close and personal Contact us for all the details!
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