The Running of the Bulls
Today at 8:00 AM local time, the running of the bulls took place in Pamplona, Spain. The running of the bulls is the highest profile event of the San Fermin festival, which is held July 6-14 every year. Eight runnings take place over the course of the eight-day festival. Runners start each bull run, or encierro, singing a benediction at the statue of the event’s patron saint San Fermin, shouting together ¡Viva San Fermín! Gora San Fermin! (“Long live San Fermin” in Spanish and Basque). A rocket then signals that all six bulls have been released and the 826 meter sprint begins.
Runners must be over 18 years old and traditionally carry that day’s rolled-up newspaper in hand to draw the bulls’ attention. Every year, between 200 and 300 people are injured and 15 people have been killed since record-keeping began. While many people turn out for the running of the bulls, the tradition is not without controversy, as many animal rights activists oppose and actively protest the event.