The Running of the Bulls

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Category: World History

Date Submitted: 04/11/2010 06:00 PM

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The running of the bulls is a Spanish tradition that occurs in the city of Pamplona, Spain, during the festival of San Fermin. The festival takes place from July 7th to July 14th. ( The history of the running of the bulls is disputed. It began in the 13th or 14th century as a mainly religious festival that was celebrated during October. Over the centuries, the festival evolved from a religious celebration into a weeklong event in the streets of Pamplona, complete with music, dancing and bullfighting. ( During the 16th century the Pamplona Council decided that the event should held in July which featured more favorable weather for this type of street festival. ( In 1591, the first San Fermines festival was celebrated. However, it was a much smaller celebration than the modern day festival, only lasting two days.

Local legend in Pamplona states that the running of the bulls began when 13th century butchers would run ahead of the bulls in order to be the first to purchase the bulls at the auction block. (Vernon) Other sources state that the bull run began during the days of the early festivals. In order to lead the bulls to the arena, residents had to herd the animals through the streets. Drovers would lead the bulls. However, butchers eventually began to join the drovers and chased the bulls from Santo Domingo Street. This marks the present day starting place of the running of the bulls. (

Over the centuries, the running of the bulls began to grow, attracting more people and becoming a very well known festival. Today, the festival attracts people from around the world. In the 20th century, the festival in Pamplona was long established. But, it gained international attention due to Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises. (Vernon)

The modern day running of the bulls starts at 8 a.m. every morning from July 7th through the 14th. The bulls run from the corral at Santo Domingo, where...

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