Friday, June 8, 2012

Running of the bulls

  Summer 2003

Victoria Iglesias

 Spain is full of  contrasts, from wet northern forests to the dry hot south, from Mediterranean warmth and wealth to Portugal; when we go through Spain we can find with different and various personalities.  His folklore is also rich but a big part of his festivals are related with religion.  During the whole year people prepare themselves with enthusiasm not only  for the celebration of their own town ( it relation to a holy saint ), also for the big events in the country, where it is very easy to forget the origin of his own celebration, almost always religious.  One important week is when the celebration is for "San Fermin".  This is the name of the pattern in Pamplona, on the north of Spain.  From July 6th to 14th everybody spends a week without sleep, dancing and singing in the streets.  It is in the street where we can find the most important event, "los encierros."  Throughout the week there are bullfights and every morning the fighting bulls are driven through the streets to the Plaza de Toros.  In the morning at 8:00 AM, young men and in recent years women, stop in front of the statue of the holy saint (San Fermin) and sing the same song three times.  They ask him for luck and courage in running ahead of the fighting bulls and confronting them.  The run to the "plaza de toros" is long and a lot times very dangerous.  Every day there is a big number of people hurt and in some occasions death.  Ernest Hemingway knew this festival very well.  And today there are a lot of young Americans that run ahead of the bulls.  The problem for them. and for the Spanish also, is to know a number of rules for running, like stay calm and quiet when you fall down, and don't move, because if you move your body, when you are on the round, the bull will see you and he can hurt you.
   Is very important for running to have a newspaper on hand not for reading, of course, but for the purpose is to roll it and use it like a stick if you get to run behind bull.

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