Every July, the famous San Fermín festival takes place in Pamplona, located in the province of Navarra.
It is in the honor of the patron saint of the city that this bull frenzy is based upon. Amerinca Nobel Prize winner and novelist Ernest Hemingway describes that there was “the sound of a rocket exploding that announced the release of the bulls from the corrals at the edge of town. They would race through the streets and out of the bull-ring”.
This festival lasts for nine and a half consecutive days and commemorates Firminus, a devout Pamplona citizen ho died a martyr’s death ruing the conversion of France to Christianity. During this festival his effigy is carried solemn in procession in the historic part of the city.
The ultimate climax of the San Fermín festival is the legendary bull run throughout the streets of the city, which happens every morning of the nine and half days. A race, that is literally a life and death matter takes only around 3-5 minutes every morning – but shakes you up nevertheless. Adrenaline running high, captivating thousands of people with the sense of adventure and death. It is usual in the evenings to have bull-fights (in bull-rings), preparing for the next morning’s 8 o’clock bull-run.
This said, Pamplona’s San Fermín is much more that just about bulls. Bull-runs take only a small percent of the time, hence there is plenty of time to eat!
This festival is a culinary experience, locals usual meet up with family and friends for a banquet in a traditional restaurant, often spending on the best seafood. However today, and with the economic situation that is hard to miss, locals do no eat out as much — but eat just as much — mostly in their homes. Nevertheless, there are plenty of restaurants, mesons, bodegas and tabernas (types of tapas, food and wine bars) where to enjoy traditional Spanish dishes and delicious light Navarra rosé wine, typical of the area.
Don’t worry, there is of course some red and white wines to choose from too.
At the end of the day, it’s all a one big party.
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