San Fermin and La Tomatina
The Running of the Bulls vs the craziest tomato battle in the world
Spain, apart from being well-known for its beaches, tapas, sangría and its magnificent museums and monuments, is famous for its fiestas. One of the best known of these is the fiesta of San Fermín in Pamplona, which starts on 7th July. In any Spanish fiesta worthy of the name there must be bulls, and the principal attraction of San Fermín is the bull-run which is celebrated every day at 8.00 in the morning.
This tradition started many years ago, when during the periods of fiesta the cowherds used to lead the bulls which were to take part in the bullfights each afternoon from their pens to the bullring. Little by little more and more people started to accompany the cowherds and the bulls, until the event eventually turned into a sort of popular race.
The bull-run never normally lasts more than 10 minutes, but since it is such a dangerous event it is essential to bear in mind some of the recommendations made by the organizers if you want to avoid finishing up like an olive on a stick. These include always running in sports shoes, never touching or inciting the animals, never blocking the way, and never standing up immediately afterwards if you fall over. You should bear in mind that the cowherds that follow behind, guiding the animals, carry very long sticks which are not only used on the animals! So, if you don’t want to be at the receiving end of an unexpected thwack, you would be well advised to follow the recommendations that are made to you.
For further information you can consult the website: www.sanfermin.com, but bear in mind that once again this year Equity Point will be organizing excursions to San Fermín at very accessible prices. Ask for more information in Reception, or send an e-mail to: email@example.com
While San Fermín is perhaps the best-known Spanish fiesta in international terms, we would also strongly recommend La Tomatina. La Tomatina is a veritable pitched battle involving 45 tons of tomatoes which will take place on 26th August. For a couple of hours some 40,000 people amuse themselves by throwing tomatoes at one another until the streets of Buñol (the small town about 40 kilometres from Valencia which hosts the fiesta) are flooded by a veritable tidal wave of tomato sauce.
The origins of this event are not very clear, either. It seems that it all started in about 1945, when during a procession through the town an argument between different townspeople got out of hand.
Fortunately, these days the town council sets up showers next to the river so that people can wash themselves down once the fiesta has come to an end, while the fire brigade leaves the town as though nothing had ever happened.
Just as in the case of San Fermín, Equity Point will be delighted to take you to La Tomatina. If you are interested, please ask in Reception, or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org