Thousands Celebrate the Start of Spain's 'San Fermin' Bull-Running Festival



San-fermin-pamplona

Revelers hold up traditional red neckties during the launch of the "Chupinazo" rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2014 San Fermin fiestas in Pamplona, Spain, on July 6, 2014.
Thousands of Spaniards and tourists from all over the world gathered in the streets of Pamplona, Spain on Sunday to celebrate the start of the famed San Fermin "running of the bulls" festival, which will fill the city's streets with bulls and wine-fueled partygoers for more than a week.
Dressed in traditional white outfits, red bandanas and cummerbunds unique to San Fermin, festivalgoers kicked off the event in Pamplona's main Consistorial square, with many onlookers flooding nearby narrow streets. In his 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway immortalized the festival, turning it into what is now the most internationally renowned Spanish fiesta.

Mikel Martínez, president of the Red Cross in Pamplona, officially kicked off San Fermin by firing the chupinazo rocket, as per tradition. Martinez was chosen to start this year's festivities because of his organization's 150th anniversary.
Martinez said launching the chupinazo was "a rush, a blast, exhilarating," according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.
San Fermin's main attractions are its bull runs, during which thousands of local organized groups and tourists try to outrun six bulls over a 875-yard course through the streets of Pamplona, ending in the city's bullring. On Monday, at 8 a.m. local time, the first of eight bull runs is set to begin. Every year, a few runners get injured — or worse. Since 1924, 15 people have been killed in the event.
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A view of Pamplona's Consistorial square as revelers hold up traditional red neckties during the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, which kicks off the famous San Fermin bull run festival in Pamplona, Spain.
IMAGE: DANIEL OCHOA DE OLZA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Revelers are sprayed with wine during the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket.
    IMAGE: DANIEL OCHOA DE OLZA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Revelers hold up traditional red neckties while drinking and being srpied with wine during the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket.
    IMAGE: DANIEL OCHOA DE OLZA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    A view of revelers holding up traditional red neckties during the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket.
    IMAGE: DANIEL OCHOA DE OLZA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Revelers throws empty wine bottles to fill up a balcony during the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket.
    IMAGE: DANIEL OCHOA DE OLZA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    A reveler drinks wine from a traditional leather pouch during the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket.
    IMAGE: DANIEL OCHOA DE OLZA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Neighbors throw water on the revelers from a balcony during the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket. The people in the square demanded neighbors to throw buckets of water as the temperature in Pamplona reached almost 90 degrees.
    IMAGE: ALVARO BARRIENTOS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    A reveler attempts to jump from a fountain after the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket.
    IMAGE: ANDRES KUDACKI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    A reveler climbs and jumps from a fountain onto the crowd below, after the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket.
    IMAGE: ANDRES KUDACKI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Revelers dressed in weird costumes celebrate during the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket.
    IMAGE: ALVARO BARRIENTOS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Another reveler jumps from a fountain onto the crowd below.
    IMAGE: DANIEL OCHOA DE OLZA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Revelers celebrate beside musicians wearing typical red berets, during the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket.
    IMAGE: ALVARO BARRIENTOS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Revelers celebrate after the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket.
    IMAGE: DANIEL OCHOA DE OLZA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Revelers enjoy having water thrown on them from a balcony.
    IMAGE: ALVARO BARRIENTOS/ASSOCIATED PRESS




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