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European Bull Run

European Bull Run

European Bull Run

The European bull run or ‘Running of the Bulls’ as it is more correctly known, is an event that takes place primarily in Spain which involves running in front of a group of bulls let loose on a course around a town. The most famous European bull run takes place in the seven day festival ‘Sanfermines’ which takes place in honor of ‘San Fermin’ in Pampalona, Spain. However this isn’t the only European bull run, and you can also find such runs in other cities across Spain, as well as in Portugal and Southern France.

The European bull run is an incredibly dangerous and unusual activty, but is regarded as those who take part as also being highly exhilarating and cultural. Unlike the Bull fights which are also popular in Spain, the European bull run can be enjoyed by anyone over the age of 18 with no training.

The original purpose of the European bull run was to transport bulls from corrals to bullrings to be killed. While this was going on the route would be sectioned off, but young Spaniards would often jump into the paths of the bulls in order to demonstrate their bravado and speed. According to Spanish lore however, this did not develop into the European bull run as we know it today until the early 14th century. This started when young adults tried to hurry their cattle through the market by using fear tactics and other things. This eventually turned into a competition, and at this point the youngsters would then attempt to race the bulls to the pens without being overtaken. Over time these activities became noticed by the rest of Spain and of course developed into the European bull run as we know it.

Today the event involves wooden barricades erected to keep the bulls on route, and often these will make it easy for the runners to exist in case of danger – with gaps large enough for people but too narrow for the bulls. The European bull run in Pamplona is broadcast live and is the largest event of the San Fermin festival taking place on the 7th of July. It draws many tourists and there are many other celebrations and festivities to enjoy at the time. Before the race begins for instance the runners will sing a benediction – twice in Spanish and once in Basque. The full length of the course is 826 meters and is still a highly dangerous activity with 200-300 people injured every year. However only 16 people have been killed in Pamplona since 1910. Regardless of this fact, the European bull runs found across Europe remain some of the most unique and bizarre festivals on the continent.

Europe Bull Run - Fermin

Europe Bull Run - Fermin

9 Comments so far

  1. gatbel lam moung chol   December 1, 2011 7:19 am

    I please would you import this type of sport as i get .so your most wellcome in new nation which its in needs for everything which can promote the sports.

  2. Faranume   December 11, 2011 8:51 am

    OMG, this sport – European bull ride is craziness in my opinion. I will not do this, ever! I don’t want to die. I do not understand those people who practice European bull ride. I guess they don’t care about their lives.

  3. Andrei   December 13, 2011 4:07 am

    Spanish are crazy! Why have they invented the European bull run? To me this isn’t a sport. European bull run is a suicide. I will never agree with it.

  4. Elliot   December 14, 2011 7:30 am

    European bull run is indeed dangerous, but I like it. I’ve never done something like this. But I would really do it. You probably feel a lot of adrenaline when you are chased by a bull. European bull run must be a craziness.

  5. Sandrra   January 5, 2012 1:48 pm

    I’m not afraid of European bull run. I’m very curious how you feel if you are chased by a bull. I would love to get that feeling. Maybe I will have the chance to participate at a European bull run sometime. Till then I have to thank you for this article. :D

  6. EllieWhite   January 7, 2012 7:09 am

    I do not think I would like to participate at a European bull run. It is like you run for your life. It isn’t a great feeling. And why would anyone like to feel this? European bull run is for crazy people!

  7. Niega   January 8, 2012 3:33 am

    I do not think European bull run is just for crazy people. Spanish consider European bull run as highly exhilarating and cultural activity. This is their tradition. This is their culture. Why do we have to judge them?

  8. Tociu   January 8, 2012 8:07 am

    The European bull run is an incredibly dangerous and unusual activity for sure. Very good point of view! I’m pretty sure that many of us think this way. Those who see the European bull run as a fun activity…are for sure very eccentric. They are crazy if they want to be chased by a bull.

  9. Palade   January 8, 2012 8:10 am

    I had no idea about the purpose of European bull run. I had no idea that the original purpose of the European bull run was to transport bulls from corrals to bullrings to be killed. What European bull run represents now and what it represented then… I like more the original idea. Now it is a stupidity.

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