Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls is nearing its last few days, and another man has been gored and several others injured since the first gorings on July 9. Yesterday, July 11, an American tourist was gored in the leg, and during today’s run a man was gored in the arm in addition to four other injuries related to falls and pile-ups. On the 9th, two men were gored during the third run of the festival.
Photos and video of the event have surfaced on social media; a few photos show the tourist from yesterday being gored in the leg. A video features the crowd in the street, readying themselves for the run. Then, the bulls come, and everyone takes off. There are a few stumbles and falls as the bulls tear through the crowd.
In total, there have been four gorings so far in this year’s festival. But, goring is really all part of it. In 2019, 8 people were gored; the festival was postponed for three years due to COVID-19, but this year it’s back and more anticipated than ever. While there are plenty of injuries sustained during the controversial festival, there have only been 16 deaths since 1910.
The bulls run from the Corrales de Santo Domingo to Plaza de Toros in Pamplona. Over 1 million spectators gather outdoors to watch the event and celebrate in the festival. At the end of the runs, the bulls are killed in traditional bullfights.
Why is the Running of the Bulls So Controversial?
Many animal rights organizations condemn the festival in Pamplona because of the unnecessary cruelty to animals involved. Though, some people hold onto the tradition of the festival. Is there a right answer here?
The Running of the Bulls has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in recent years. The event is also held in smaller towns and villages, but there it’s more about tradition than making money off of foreigners. The event has its roots in 14th-century Spain. But, some residents of Pamplona and the surrounding areas feel the Running of the Bulls is cruel. Not only does it endanger human life, it’s also rife with gratuitous violence against animals.
Additionally, women who live in the area and attend the runs condemn the toxic masculinity surrounding the event. The runs are mostly attempted by men. In the beginning, young Spanish men would challenge each other to run with the bulls being driven to the city center in order to prove their manhood and courage. That concept of the runs hasn’t really left the event in recent times. Women weren’t even able to join the runs until 1974. Many women report sexual harassment as well.
So, there’s an air of toxicity surrounding the festival and the Running of the Bulls that casts a pall over the festivities. Though many residents still hold tight to their traditions, and this festival is one of them. The core issues with the event are diminished because of the sheer popularity it holds with tourists. Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls is the ultimate daredevil festival and those who crave a dangerous, exhilarating experience head to Northern Spain.