The "Sanfermines"
Come to know Navarra

Shopping in Navarra | Wines from Navarra | Osasuna |

The Sanfermines

A unique festival

link The "chupinazo"
link In honour of the Patron Saint - San Fermin
link The heart of the fiesta

Las dianas
El encierro

El apartado

Procession of mules and horses
The bullfight
When the Peñas leave the bull ring
El encierrillo

Fireworks and funfair

link Festivals and concerts
link Other ways of enjoying the fiesta
link Not so long to go


The "Sanfermines"

A unique festival

La Pamplonesa. ¡Viva San Femín!The festival in honour of San Fermín celebrated in Pamplona -los Sanfermines- is a mixture of the official and the popular, the religious and the profane, for local people and outsiders, the old and the new, order and chaos. And all of this packed into one long week starting with a bang at midday on the sixth of July and ending with the nostalgia tinged with expectation at midnight on the fourteenth.

The Sanfermines have always been a special festival but when Pamplona was sffll a smau unknown city -provincial and clerical- the Sanf ermines found their most fervent supporter in the American writer Hemingway.Ernest Hemingway - Sculpture at Pamplona

The Sanfermines offer the visitor an open and hospitable festival where anything out of the ordinary is welcomed and soon becomes part of the tradition, so long as ¡t shows the respect due to others. The Sanfermines is a fiesta where no one is an outsider, everyone is equal and in which the festive Procession of San Fermín at Pamplona's streets spirit is never broken, centred around the people of Pamplona in the widest sense: all the people who are in the city during the always too short 204 hours of revelry, dancing, prayers and bacchanalian extravagance.

lt shouldn't be forgotten that the Sanfermines is a festival of religious origins and that this aspect is still relived in huge demonstrations such as the Procession on the morning of the seventh. But the religious celebration is in perfect harmony with the cult of the bull -a symbolic animal- and with the cult of Bacchus, the god of wine -a drink which ¡s no less symbolic. The Sanfermines are, in short, a total, absolute and radical festival in which the people of Pamplona play the leading part, but in which outsiders feel immediately at home -there's no question of being a mere onlooker- as for nine days Pamplona becomes the world capital of happiness.

The "encierro": coming into the "plaza de toros"

Versión castellana / Spanish version

Texts: Luis Azpilicueta and José María Domench
Photographs: Larrión & Pimoulier, Domench and Azpilicueta, Archivo del Servicio de Turismo del Gobierno de Navarra, Archivo del Ayuntamiento de Pamplona, J. Mina, M.A. Larregui, F. Goyén
English translation: David Griffths & Ian Thomas

Shopping in Navarra | Wines from Navarra | Osasuna |


Pol. Elorz - Edif. CEIN Of. D-10- E-31110 Noáin - Valle de Elorz
Tel.: (+34)
948 426 014 - Fax: (+34) 948 426 014