Dates of the Running of The bulls 2017• Saint Fermin Festival in Pamplona
The Running of the Bulls festival is about to begin! We are only 7 weeks away from the famous Spanish festival, and If you don’t have your trip organized and you do not want to miss the best moments of the Running of the Bulls, is time to start planning your trip to Spain.
In this article we are going to go deeper in the most exciting events of the fiesta and tell you which ones you cannot miss out.
The Running of the Bulls festival takes place from July 6 to July 14, and, as always is going to be super crowded, no doubt of it!
The San Fermín Festival is one of the biggest festivals worldwide, because for many travelers is a bucket list event, and every year the small city of Pamplona, receives people from all the corners of the planet, coming to Pamplona to enjoy this event.
You can imagine how hard is to find good accommodation, Balcony spots to watch the Bull Run, Bullfight Tickets, etc. For that reason, if you really want to live a unique experience we recommend to plan your trip weeks ahead, and try to reserve the most of your tours and activities before you arrive to Pamplona.
The reason why the running of the bulls festival is so well ranked around the world is because it has events for all kind of travelers, and you can find things to do during 24 hours.
For that reason we want to share with you this article, and tell you the most important events of the Running of the Bulls, including dates and schedule to do not miss the highlights of this spanish festival.
Please remember that Pamplona is an old town, and the streets are small so they get crowded quickly because the amount of people is unbelievable. We recommend to you to be always, at least, two hours earlier to all the events you want to attend to make sure you are not stuck and miss it.
Chupinazo • Opening Ceremony – July 6th – 12 Noon
Every 6 of July Pamplona celebrates the Chupinazo (Opening Ceremony) that basically is called like this because that is the name of the rocket that is launched to announce that Pamplona is officially in the Sanfermines.
If you want to be part of the Chupinazo and get to live this amazing experience you should plan to arrive to Pamplona on Jul 5th because the ceremony happens in the morning and the streets near the event get very busy since a couple of hours earlier.
It is almost like we have mentioned in another articles this magical event can be watched in many ways you have the option to be in the squere, watch it in one of the two screen the city instals or watch it from a balcony.
If you are looking for a unique VIP experience to watch the Opening Ceremony (Chupinazo) you must come to our private terrace party, because here you will have the best view and the best atmosphere. Being with experts and with locals will make you feel like a pro in the Running of the Bulls opening ceremony.
Corrida de Rejones – July 6th – 6:30pm
The rejoneo is the first way of bullfighting done on horseback that follows similar patterns to a regular bullfighting.
Every year the famous Navarrese bullfighter Hermoso de Mendoza comes to Pamplona to be part of this event.
The Peñas do not come to Pamplona’s bullring for the Rejoneo on July 6th, so if you really want to watch a very special bullfight, you shouldn’t miss this event.
El Encierro (Bull Run) – July 7th to 14th – 8:00 am
The 7th of July at 8 am, take place the first Encierro (Bull Run) of the Running of the Bulls Festival, From that day, and every morning until July 14th, 6 Bravo Bulls run along Pamplona Streets (Santo Domingo, Mercaderes and Estafeta).
The runners gather in front of the San Fermin Statue in cuesta Santo Domingo to sing and pray asking for protection.
El Encierro (Bull Run) starts when the bulls are let out at 8 o’clock and ends when all the bulls are inside the bullring. Everything is announced with rockets so runners know where the bulls are on the street and also when they are locked in the bullring and is safe to be in the streets again.
Usually the encierro last around two or three minutes, but it depends on the bulls because sometimes they get behind the crowd and the encierro last much longer. You can read more about how long is the Running of the Bulls here.
The best place to watch the encierro (the bull run) is from a balcony, because there are two fences before where the encierro happens that make really hard to watch it from the street. Also you have to acknowledge that these animals are very fast and they pass by where you are so quickly.
If you are watching the bull run from above you will have a better perspective and you will watch the bulls and runners coming to your balcony, and after they pass your balcony.
Big Heads and Giants Parade – July 7th to 13th – 9:30am
Every day in the morning you can find a group of wood statues that gather in the streets in a parade and are the favorite plan for the kids.
The Giants belong to the Running of the Bulls tradition since so long, and they are the Kings and Queens of Europe, America, Africa and Asia. Over the years this royals have gotten some friends that decided to tag alone for the parade and they are the Big Heads, the Zaldicos (half horse, and half men) and the Kilikis that are the ones who carry all the fun because they “attack” children with their foam weapons. Kids love Kilikis and they all have a favorite who they follow in the parade.
This is a very cute event to watch especially if you are with kids. they will love the atmosphere because the crowd is children, parents, and grandparents, playing singing and dancing among the music of the comparsa.
San Fermin Procession – July 7th – 10:00am
Jul 7 is the official day of the Saint Fermin and probably the most important day for Pamplona locals.
To celebrate this day, in the morning, take place the Procession, accompanied by the main representative of the City and Pamplona’s Cathedral, the Peñas (pamplona social clubs), the Music band “La Pamplonesa”, traditional Dancers, the Big heads and Giants, the figure of Saint Fermin goes from Pamplona Cathedral to Saint Fermin capille (located at Saint Lorenzo Church) to offer him a mass.
The route last approximately an hour and a half but the most exciting moments of the whole procession is at San Anton 47 when they sing the famous Jota to the Saint from the balcony.
You can watch this event from the street, but if you prefer to be more comfortable while enjoying a glass of wine and iberic ham, you can join us in our exclusive balcony where you will not miss this beautiful and family friendly event.
Bullfight – July 7th to 14th – 6:30pm
The first bullfight of the season happens on July 7 and it goes every afternoon until July 14th.
If you want to attend to this event and watch a Bullfight at Pamplona’s Bullring, you have different options:
On the shade you can find more peace and concentrate if your interest for the bullfight is genuine because people in this section are better behaved.
It is where real bullfighting lovers get seat and enjoy of the show without the interruption of others. If you want to live the experience of watch a bullfight, this is the correct place.
On the sun side you will find young people having fun a party. Probably the will do not even watch the bulls.
Being in the sun side is about being singing, dancing, drinking and eating, all while a bullfight is going on because Las Peñas (Pamplona social clubs) are located here.
If you want to join them, be sure you bring your worst clothes with you, because you would not be able to wear it again after the bullfight. Your white cloths will be stained red because people throw red wine all over the place.
Peñas Parade – July 7th to 14th – After bullfight
If you attend to the bullfight you will see the Peñas (group of people that belongs to a community for the Sanfermines) singing, dancing and drinking.
There are 17 different Peñas and when the fight is over they jump into the bullring and gather around the banner of each Peña to dance along Pamplona Old Town Streets and come back to their venues.
You can join them and visit Pamplona dancing with them or you can stop by Pamplona Bullring and wait for them, to watch the parade. Anyways, be ready to have an amazing time while drinking, jumping and singing with the locals.
They make it really fun to watch because their music and instruments fill the streets of the old town with joy. The peñas are the soul of the Bullfight in Pamplona, some people even go to the bullring only to enjoy of the Peña´s atmosphere during the bullfight.
Bull Fire – July 14th to 14th – 9:45pm
This event, made for the little ones, take place every evening at Plaza de Santiago, and is incredible cute and fun to watch even if you do not travel with kids.
They have a fake fireworks bull that seems to be on fire and resembles the running of the bulls for adults so kids also have an encierro (bull run) to run in front of the Bull Fire.
Fireworks Contest July 6th to 14th – 11:00 pm
Every night, from July 6th to July 14th, take place the International Pamplona’s Fireworks Contest.
This event is one of the must for Pamplona families, and every night you will see thousands of people, having a sandwich for dinner on the ground of the bus station area or in Citadel Park (parque de la ciudadela).
Anyways, If you prefer to enjoy Pamplona Fireworks contest in style, and to live an outstanding experience, you can join us during a cocktail dinner followed by fireworks views from a VIP Terrace located at Baluarte Building (Auditorium of Navarra).
The Recital of Jotas July 8th to 14th – Noon
In the mornings of the Running of the Bulls Festival, you can enjoy of The Recital of Jotas (The Jota is a traditional Spanish genre of music and dance) and get to know more about Spanish traditions with this authentic music and dance.
Giants and Big Heads Farewell – July 14th – 9:30am
This is the favourite event of Pamplona’s Kids, on July 14th, locals say goodbye to the Giants and Big Heads in a beautiful Farewell.
The parade start at 9:30 am and finalize around 2pm at Plaza del Ayuntamiento. To watch this event you must be in Pamplona Town Hall Square very early because it gets very crowded with people and strollers.
If you prefer to watch it like a VIP you can also reserve a balcony spots in one of our Pamplona private balconies and enjoy the expertise of a local that with tell you fun details of the event while having some tapas.
Closing Ceremony • Pobre de mi (Poor Me) – Jul 14 – Midnight
Today at midnight Pamplona celebrates the closure of the Running of The Bulls Festival with a meaningful ceremony at the Consistorial Square (Town Hall Square).
As everything in this Spanish festival, this event is unique and beautiful to watch.
People wearing only white and red gather around this square while holding candles to say goodbye to the Running of the Bulls Festival while singing Pobre de mi (poor me) because the festival is over. Experience this is a must during your stay in Pamplona.
For this event, you can join the crowd on the street or also, you can reserve a balcony spot in one of our exclusive Pamplona balconies. We will celebrate a farewell with tapas and Navarra wine. You can not miss it!
Besides the main events, every day of the Running of the Bulls Festival you can enjoy Music in the streets, dance activities, and games for the little ones.
Furthermore of these already programmed activities by the city of Pamplona you have an enormous amount of activities you can mix with the Running of the Bulls Festival.
Now that you have all the information remember to start planning ahead all the details of your one life time experience with us in San Fermin Festival, and if you have questions or need help to organize your next visit to Pamplona, contact us!