Two Men Gored During Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls

by Lauren Boisvert

The San Fermín Running of the Bulls Festival ended its third day with two gorings, according to Pamplona hospitals, per the New York Post. Two men were gored by a bull horn in the leg today. A total of seven people needed to be treated for various injuries after today’s event. The Running of the Bulls takes place annually on July 7th through the 14th. Over 1 million spectators gather along the outdoor route from the Corrales de Santo Domingo to Plaza de Toros in Pamplona. They watch thousands of runners flee from six fighting bulls and six steers.

Goring is all part of the event; in 2019, eight people were gored, and since 1910, sixteen people have died. That’s a pretty good track record for a festival that involves running from enraged bulls. Pamplona called off the festival in 2020 due to the pandemic and lack of travel. It’s back this year, celebrating the return of international and domestic travel. Pamplona has been planning this event for the three years it’s been dormant, so this year’s festival is bigger and better than ever. The runs end with the bulls being killed in traditional bullfights.

History of Running with the Bulls

The most well-known festival is Pamplona’s encierro, or bull run, but not the only one. There are smaller, local festivals that include bull runs as well. Villages and towns in Spain, Portugal, and Mexico hold less touristy, more traditional festivals. Additionally, the Occitan region of Southern France also holds runs.

According to Spanish tradition, the bull run began in the 14th century. Cattle herders wanted a way to speed their stock into city centers for sale, or into the ring to partake in a bullfight. The herders would speed them along by running alongside the bulls, using excitement and fear to make them run faster. Additionally, young men would sometimes jump among bulls to show their bravery, as a kind of right of passage. This became a competition after years. Herders would hurry in front of their cattle and race them to their pens.

Ernest Hemmingway introduced the Running of the Bulls to English-speaking countries. He featured the event in his book “The Sun Also Rises.” Published in 1926, the bullfights and spectacle of the festival represent passion, sexuality, and hedonism. It portrays a sort of letting loose for the locals and tourists, with everything somehow losing its meaning by the end of the day. Eventually, nothing makes sense but the bullfight, which is like a dance, a seduction. The characters are rapt watching the bull fighter work; the entire festival represents the differences between the “regulated social atmosphere of Paris” and the wild, untamed feeling of Pamplona.