The Running of the Bulls is a famous festival originated in Spain,which involves running in front of a small group of bulls that have been let loose on the course of a few pre-barricaded streets of a town.
It is said that, the true origin of the run began in the northeastern part of Spain during the early 14th century, to speed up the process of transport of the cattle from the field to the market for selling. Soon the process began to turn into a competition, as young adults would attempt to race in front of the bulls. With the increased popularity of the competitive nature of the practice, it became a traditional festival. Although the festival is traditionally held in many towns and villages in Spain, Portugal and elsewhere, the most famous running of the bulls is the famous eight-day festival of San Fermin, held every year from 6–14 July in honour of Saint Fermin in Pamplona.
The rule of the game is, the participants must be at least 18 years old, they should not be under the influence of alcohol and should run in the same direction as the bulls and they should never incite the running bulls. The wooden fences along the route is built in such a way that, the gaps in the barricades are wide enough for a man to slip through, but narrow enough to block a bull. The encierro (The Running of the Bulls) begins with the first rocket at 8 am to intimate the runners that the corral gate is opened. The second rocket signals the release of all the six bulls. The third and fourth rocket indicates that all the animals have entered the bullring and its corral respectively.
Every year people get more crazy during the run. Every year between 50 and 100 people are injured during the run. Every year the animal rights activists oppose the event. In 2002, just two days before the first Bull Run, hundreds of activists belonging to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) organized ‘Running of the Nudes’ by marching naked through the streets of Pamplona, protesting the cruelty and torture of the bulls for entertainment. Now that has also become a tradition and each year animal lovers from around the world gather in Pamplona before the Running of the Bulls festival to protest against cruelty and to indicate that it is inhuman and unethical to torture the dumb animals for promoting tourist trade.
Yet, the show goes on.