Famed Spanish bull run festival ends with 8 people gored this year
Thousands of revellers raised candles and red scarves in the air and swayed back and forth as they sang a mournful song to mark the end on Sunday of Spain’s most famous bull running festival in Pamplona which saw eight daredevils gored this year.
“Poor me, poor me, the San Fermin fiesta has come to an end,” the crowd sang just after the stroke of midnight in front of city hall in the Plaza Consistorial as fireworks lit up the sky above.
“People of Pamplona, the San Fermin festival is over, the best festival in the world,” Pamplona mayor Enrique Maya said from the balcony of city hall to cheers from the crowd just before the singing began.
The nine-day San Fermin festival, which dates back to medieval times, features concerts, religious processions, folk dancing, and round-the-clock drinking.
But the highlight is a bracing, daily test of courage against a thundering pack of half-tonne, sharp-horned bulls.
Each morning hundreds of runners, many dressed in white with red scarves and sashes, test their valour by sprinting with six half-tonne bulls along an 850-metre (2,800-foot) course through the narrow streets of the city in northern Spain.
The most daring try to run as long as they can right in front of the beasts’ horns before veering off to the side or diving under the wooden barriers that separate the bulls and runners from the thousands of spectators from around the world that line the route.
Two Australians aged 27 and 30, as well as a 25-year-old Spaniard, were gored during the final bull run of the festival on Sunday by a half-tonne fighting bull which became separated from the pack moments into the run and began charging people in its way, regional health authorities said.
The three men suffered injuries to the armpit, arm and leg from the bull’s horns.
Isolated bulls are more likely to get disoriented and start charging at people.
That brought to eight the total number of daredevils who were gored by a bull during this year’s fiesta.