Spain's San Fermin Festival
Running with the bulls is a man-icon rite of passage -- that begins at the ironing board. Crisp white pants, white shirt and, the ultimate mancation accoutrement, a silky red sash are your essential items for the life defying, chest thumping half-mile dash that define the annual San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain. Running for your life in front of a pack of angry, 1,200-pound bulls is just the type of irresponsible, wild, out of control fun essential for a mancation. On his own mancation, writer and real man Ernest Hemingway ran with the bulls. So can you.
Festival San Fermin & the Encierro
My Run with the Bulls
I look back -- the bulls are much bigger than I imagined -- and I run faster. I feel a rip of panic as I stumble on a runner’s feet in front of me. My red neckerchief falls off. I try to run next to a bull. The bulls, so close, surge at us. I jump over another runner’s back. The bulls thunder past. The barnyard aroma lingers, as does the thumping in my head from excessive adrenaline. The next moment, though, I feel relief and chase after the bulls with the crowd. I’m much braver now. We go past Dead Man’s Corner, the narrow Calle Estafeta, to the Plaza de Toros. It’s over in 3 minutes, 47 seconds.
Post Run Cool Down
Man Sports and Midnight Farewell
Nine days into this non-stop semi-controlled chaos, at midnight on July 14, grab a candle, the final fire of the festival, and light the night with the somber notes of Pobre de Mi, which means “poor me,” the traditional way to end the life-affirming San Fermin festival.