Monday, May 23, 2005

Spanish Fiestas: San Fermin

In Spain, nobody will ever forget the date of the most important fiesta held in Pamplona: July 7th is San Fermin! An ancient lyric reminds us of it:

Uno de enero, dos de febrero, tres de marzo, cuatro de abril
cinco de junio, seis de julio, siete de julio ¡San Fermín!
An easy way to learn the numbers in Spanish, the months (at least till July) and to remember the date for the famous Fiesta, since everyone in Spain knows the chant.
The festival of San Fermin is by far the best known event taking place in Pamplona. Spectators are surprised, impressed and shocked every year when they watch the bulls running in the streets of the city behind the brave (or crazy) runners.
San Fermin is a mixture of the official and the popular, both religious and profane, order and chaos for local people and outsiders, all of it packed into one long week starting with a bang at midday on the sixth of July and ending by midnight on the fourteenth.
This fiesta, as most in Spain, has religious origins still visible in the Procession on the morning of the seventh. The religious celebration is in perfect harmony with the cult of the bull -a symbolic animal- and with the cult of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. The Sanfermines are, in short, a total, absolute and radical festival in which the people of Pamplona play the leading part, but in which outsiders feel immediately at home, there's no question of being a mere onlooker, as for nine days Pamplona becomes the world capital of happiness and chaos.
Here is the official website of the government of Pamplona with more information about Sanfermines celebration in Spanish:

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