Friday, July 11, 2008

The Running of the Bulls

The parties went on all night. And it appears that everyone who was drinking is now lining up to be chased by bulls. Apparently, the sun also rises on those lacking common sense. To be fair, I would be down there getting ready to run (but sober) if Kacey hadn't forbid me to. Also, it seems a little unfair that only men are encouraged to run.

From our spot just above the shrine, we could see where the bulls would be coming from (just down the street to the left) and where everyone would be running to (just down the street to the right).

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A little ceremony in front of the shrine just before the start.
The crowd and officials gathered beneath our position to perform a little ceremony at the shrine of San Fermin, then they all pushed up to a line to await the release of the bulls.


The crowd is getting psyched
Even from 20 feet up, my heart started beating a little faster when that first herd rounded the corner. And oh how the crowd thinned out. There's no way any person would be able to run in front of the bulls the entire time, since there are too many drunken bodies to push through. But they clear out when the animals get too close for comfort.
La policia (in the yellow jackets) formed a human barricade to mark the start of the run. I think the start was a gunshot, but I forget. What I do remember was how quickly the police moved aside to let the herd through.


You'll notice there are actually cows leading the bulls.
This guy was an official herding the cows forward,
maybe to sweep up any bulls that stop to smell the flowers.

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And just like that, they were gone.
Maybe someday I'll come back and actually run this with my children as some sort of rite of passage/bonding experience during their college years. Who knows. I kind of like the idea of them telling my future grandkids that their grandfather ran with the bulls and they were there to see it.

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