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Attend the Txupinazo rocket opening ceremony. This event is a wild party and festive opening not to be missed.
Dress the part
Bring white clothes and buy the traditional red sash and red bandana there. You might end up with a wine stain or two. In fact, someone may pour some sangria (it’s likely red wine and Coca Cola) on you if you’re looking too pristine.
Just want to watch?
The best place is from a balcony. Make friends or book well in advance.
Want to run? Study the course
Extra caution is urged on course bottlenecks Dead Man’s Corner and the entrance to the Bull Ring. Be rested and sober, wear good shoes and run fast. These will all maximize your chances against being trampled by a bull, but it’s still up to the bulls if they catch you.
Join in to sing “Pobre de Mi”
This nostalgic song sung in a candlelit ceremony is the perfect close to this exhilarating festival.
is the closest city and a great place to begin and end your Running of the Bulls adventure. Bus, taxi or rental car from there is easiest. Pamplona is a small town to handle the massive crowds of the festival, but you can fly into Pamplona. Book accommodations well in advance and expect to pay a premium. You cannot just expect to show up and find a place. You can party through the night, but don’t forget that this is a run for the wellrested, physically fit, and sober. You must be 18 years old to participate. Enter the run from the official gates. Bring a newspaper with you, folded up in your hand, as it can serve as distraction for the bull. You are forbidden to incite the bulls, must run in the same direction as the bulls and must not be under the influence of alcohol. Watch out for the agitated, rogue bull (suelto) that gets separated from the pack and heads upstream like a samurai salmon with horns.
For literary background, read Ernest Hemingway’s book that popularized the event, The Sun Also Rises.