Running With the Bulls: A Strange and Dangerous Annual Event

By | March 26, 2019

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Each day at 8am hundreds of people race with six bulls, charging along a winding, half a mile course through narrow streets to the city's bull ring, where the animals are killed in a bullfight or corrida. Source: (

For eight days in July, the streets of Pamplona, Spain, are wild and crazy. Wild because that is when the annual Running of the Bulls takes place, with long-horned bulls let loose to herd through the streets of the city. Crazy because many people—locals and tourists—join the bulls, running alongside them or away from them through the narrow roads. Featured in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona is part of the San Fermin Festival, honoring the town’s patron saint. Just how did this daring event originate? Let’s look at the odd history of the Running of the Bulls.

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Saint Fermin. Source: (

Who was Saint Fermin?

Saint Fermin was born in the 3rd century in Pamplona. The son of a Roman politician, he was destined for a life in the clergy. The first bishop of Toulouse, Saint Saturninus, baptized Saint Fermin in the church well of the St. Sernin church. Saint Fermin later became the patron saint of Navarre and Pamplona. Here is where the history of Saint Fermin gets murky.