The San Fermin Festival
and the Running of the Bulls
The San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain, has been celebrated for centuries. The festival honors San Fermin. The festival itself is exciting, however, the focal point of the festival is the running of the bulls.
San Fermin was the son of a local patriarch of Pamplona in the third century A.D. (www.therunningofthebulls.net). One day a French bishop named Saturnino came to preach to the local heathens of Pamplona. His preaching affected San Fermin so much that San Fermin traveled to Toulouse, France to study and become a bishop. Once San Fermin completed his studies he returned to Spain to spread the word of God around the area of Amiens. However, he apparently ran into some conflict with the local powers-to-be in the area because they did not like the fact that he was spreading Catholicism. They had him beheaded.
San Fermin's body is in a cathedral near Amiens, but some parts of the body were given as valuable relics. Three such relics found their way to Pamplona around the Middle Ages and made San Fermin popular in that area. San Fermin became so popular that the populance of Pamplona started having an annual festival to celebrate him (www.sanfermin.com).
The festival of San Fermin is held every year from July 7 to July 14. On the first day of the festival an elegant procession is held honoring San Fermin (Time Life Books 57). Throughout the festival street vendors set up shop and sell their goods. Most of these vendors sell red scarves. The tradition is to purchase a scarf and not put it on until the first rocket is shot, signaling the beginning of the race. The scarf signifies the blood shed by San Fermin. The festival...