First running of the bulls of San Fermín marked by memory





The first day of confinement of these Sanfermines 2022 dawned cool in Pamplona under the watchful eye of the young men at the niche, which turns 40, on the slope of Santo Domingo. The nerves, on the surface, were noticeable in their gestures: some squatting, others intertwining their hands and the most restless, making continuous snorts, accompanied by small involuntary ‘jumps’, first on one foot and then on another.

Also, this year the 60th anniversary of the creation of the chant prior to the running of the bulls is celebrated. A ritual that most attendees do wearing the ‘red handkerchief’ on their shoulders and the sash, of the same color, knotted on the left side so as not to look like ‘a foreigner’. Complements in charge of covering the white set that after the running of the bulls ceases to be pristine in many of them.

The first running of the bulls lasted just over two and a half minutes, during the week there are about 3,000 runners, a thousand more if it takes place on the weekend.

The first running of the bulls in 2022, that of reunions

At 5:30 a.m. this Thursday, the fence operators left everything ready for the first confinement of these San Fermin 2022. It is the confinement of the reunion, but also of fear. David suffered a serious crash in 2019 that left him without running for several months:
“I’m excited, the last time i left here i did it by ambulance. You always have to look for the face of the bull “, he recounts in ‘La Hora de la 1’.

The assembly of the enclosure fence begins

Like David, there are many runners who are excited on the first day of confinement. Óscar arrives from San Sebastián de los Reyes in Madrid: “My heart was racing, I ran for my people and for all those who have fallen by the wayside, for those who are no longer“I have experienced this first confinement with a lot of nerves, but it has been possible to enjoy it,” he explains with emotion still latent.

And it is that Sanfermines crosses our borders, it is a festival that attracts people from all corners of the planet. This is the case of Mónica from Taiwan and a native of Pamplona: “In Taiwan many people know about the running of the bulls, here it is very impressive. My grandfather believed that when I went to study in Pamplona I would see bull runs in the street every day“.

The illusion and enthusiasm of Enrique Maya, Mayor of Pamplonais also latent: “It is a very beautiful moment and we have to see that everything is fine. The running of the bulls in Pamplona is the best in the world. Walking down Estafeta street full of people is very exciting,” she says.

Enter with the index finger facing the sky

After the first running of the bulls, there are many moments of tension experienced, but also, there are many others that excite and put a lump in the throat of all those who follow the races closely.

This is the case of one of the usual runners of the San Fermín running of the bulls, his name is Pablo Sánchez and he has entered the Mercaderes race in a very special way: with his index finger pointing skyward. He has dodged a young man fallen on the ground and has dedicated the race to his deceased father.

Teo Lázaro analyzes the first bull run of San Fermín

The bulls and the party are back

The inauguration of the Pamplona bullring took place on July 7, 1922 and was designed by the architect Francisco Urcola. She had a budget of 1,270,000 pesetas and the management took her to the Plaza de la Misericordia. In addition, it is the fourth in the world in terms of capacity. This Thursday afternoon the bullfights return with Morante de la Puebla among the bullfighters.

After 1,087 days without people stepping on the albero, the festive atmosphere between the rocks, crews and comparsa music return to this square. After the chupinazo, this Wednesday at noon, the party broke out. The desire to enjoy was palpable in every corner and the attendees prepared themselves before continuing with the celebration with the typical ‘lunch’ to gain energy. Bars where not even a soul fits and balconies where the crews meet again.

In the Plaza del Castillo, DJ Carlos Jean was in charge of entertaining the people of Pamplona with his music. In addition, the most repeated photograph this Wednesday night was that of streets full of people dancing to the rhythm of brass bands and bands.

Lots of emotion and joy to take advantage of and make up for lost time, which is why the dance continued throughout the afternoon and lasted throughout the night. Some arrived at the first running of the bulls after staying up all night and others, wide awake, got up early to run in front of the bulls.

Two years waiting to revive the ‘sanferminero’ feeling and celebrate it.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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