The Spanish Bull Festival.

YouTube is filled with various funny videos of Spaniards running in front of bulls. Some people get gored, some get injured, others get their clothes torn… various funny and sometimes painful incidents are recorded on film, emanating from the bull festivals in Spain. You must have wondered at some point what this is all about and why Spaniards and residents of Spain will willingly expose themselves to such risks. This piece gives a little history about the Spanish Bull Festival, its practice, when it’s done, and a few other interesting details that will definitely add a little to your knowledge. You never know when it may come handy.

What Does The Festival Involve?

The actual name of the festival is actually The Running of Bulls. It takes place in various places and provinces all around Spain, with each area having its own Running of Bulls. The most popular one is the Pamplona Running of Bulls held in honor of Saint Fermin during the nine-day festival of Sanfermines. It involves a crowd of people running in front of a group of cattle, which are often six in number. The cattle are of the Toro bravo breed and they are released in specific sections of a closed street. Naturally, the bulls tend to chase the people, and this is where the fun lies, running desperately among a crowd of other people to escape being mowed down by the horns of bulls.

The bulls race from where they’re being bred to the bull ring where bull fighting takes place in the evening. The bull running is held within the distance between the keeping pen and the bull ring and it often lasts for about two and half minutes. The beginning and end of the festival is signaled by the firing of rockets. The Running of Bulls is a part (an important one) of the annual San Fermin festival which holds between the 6th and 14th of July. The Bull running proper starts from the second day of the festival and holds till the end by 8am every morning.

How did the Running of Bulls Originate?

According to Spanish folklore, this practice began in the early 14th Century. Cattle farmers and dealers who wanted to take their bulls to the markets from their farm for sale had to find a way to get their bulls to move faster. Various tricks were employed which involved scaring or exciting the animals all in a bid to get them to the market fast enough. As time went on, it became sort of a competition between various people, and the young people within the communities also saw it as a form of sport and a way to display their Bravado.

The Running of Bulls festival has come a long way since its beginnings, and is now a festival that attracts worldwide interest, often being featured in movies, books, and documentaries. Details

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