The Chupinazo – Opening Ceremony, Viva San Fermín!
Being only 3 months away from The Running of the Bulls Festival, makes us feel really excited, and we are sure many of you are already wondering the details of the fiesta. For that reason, it is important to start talking about Chupinazo (that is how locals refers to the opening ceremony of Saint Fermín Festival in Pamplona).
Many of you will even think: Why the opening ceremony is called Chupinazo? How can I see or how can I be part of the Chupinazo? Don’t worry we got your back and we are going to give you all details for one of our favorite days of the Running of the Bulls Festival, so you can enjoy it like a pro.
Why it’s called Chupinazo?
Chupinazo is the name of the rocket launched exactly at 12pm every sixth of July, to announce that the Sanfermines (The Running of the Bulls Festival) has officially started.
This event, It takes place in Pamplona’s Town Hall square and the mayor is usually the one who launches the rocket while he says, Pamploneses (Locals from Pamplona), Viva San Fermín! (Long live Saint Fermín)! a full square repeats screaming: Viva!
Just at this moment you will watch the whole plaza turn from white to red, because that is then when people officially can wear the red scarf on their neck (not before).
From that moment, locals will not stop wearing the Pañuelico (red scarf) until the Running of the Bulls Festival is over on July 14th at midnight, since the scarf is a sign of being officially in Sanfermines.
The square, now red, seems like a big mace that moves to a specific rhythm. Let me tell you that you will not see an inch of free space. It is absolutely mesmerizing!!
How can I see, or how can I be part of the Chupinazo (Opening Ceremony)?
Well… You have 3 options: The boring one, the extreme one, and the outstanding one.
Let’s start with the boring one: watch the opening ceremony on a big screen. The city of Pamplona installs two screens every year for people who do not like crowds. They are located in plaza del Castillo, and Paseo Sarasate. This is not a bad option, and some young people and families go there, but I bet you would not go all the way to Pamplona just to watch the Chupinazo (Opening Ceremony) on a screen, right?
Another way to watch the Opening Ceremony in Pamplona (Chupinazo), is the very extreme option: Being part of the crowd that gathers in Pamplona’s Town Hall Square.
We definitely do not recommend this option at all. There could be a falling of large mass; people easily can get cut with the glass on the floor, not to mention the amount of bottles that you can see in the air during the long wait.
If you want to experience this option, you will need to arrive early to the square and make your way thru the people to get a spot, and then patiently wait for the ceremony to start while you move through the mace rhythm because it sure has one!
If you are claustrophobic this options is definitely not for you because chances are that you would not be able to move from there until the ceremony has finished, not forgetting the fact that you will end up totally soaked from toe to head in wine and other liquids that people throw during the ceremony, extreme right?
Finally, we have come down to our Outstanding option. The one we usually recommend to our clients: watching the Chupinazo from a balcony.
Why? Because to watch the opening ceremony from a Balcony in Pamplona, is not only to get a better view of what is going on at the Pamplona’s Town Hall Square. Is also, because it offers a truly VIP experience.
From the Balcony, you can see the rocket (chupinazo) being launched without any obstacles. You could also enjoy watching the filled square going from white to red, seeing how they scream and throw wine everywhere. It is really fun! Do you need more arguments?
You will be in a local home that opens their door to people like you. You can have a really unique Chupinazo’s (opening ceremony) experience without all the jumble of being downstairs.
You can enjoy an authentic experience in Spain while drinking exquisite wine and eating delicious local food from the comfort of a balcony or terrace.
Furthermore, from a Balcony, you get the opportunity to talk with locals about what is going on in that moment. They love to share their passion for the fiesta and explain to tourist what the Running of the Bulls Festival means to them. Sometimes if you are lucky enough they will tell you some of the anecdotes. Isn’t that priceless?
With no doubt, the Chupinazo (Opening Ceremonies) is one of most exciting events in the whole fiesta and you wouldn’t go wrong by living this experience from the comfort of a balcony.
If you are interested in living a VIP experience, don’t hesitate to contact us. We have we have different options to watch the opening ceremonies in Pamplona like The Chupinazo: from premium balconies with front views, Balconies with partial view or even an incredible penthouse terrace where we offer a brunch with fantastic spanish food and wine from the region.
Hope to see you Pamplona! Ya falta menos!