Yesterday marked the start of the 2011 Running of the Bulls, the most popular part of the seven-day festival of Sanfermines in honor of San Fermín in Pamplona, Spain. This is one of those things I can't really report about without editorializing, so I'll let good old Wikipedia fill in your blanks.
Spanish lore says the true origin began in North-eastern Spain during the early 14th century. While transporting cattle in order to sell at the market, men would attempt to speed the process by hurrying their cattle using tactics of fear and excitement. After years of this practice, the transportation and hurrying began to turn into a competition, as young adults would attempt to race in front of the bulls and make it safely to their pens without being overtaken. When the popularity of this practice increased and was noticed more and more by the expanding population of Spanish cities, a tradition was created and stands to this day.
The modern purpose of the run is to transport a bunch of bulls from the off-site corrals where they had spent the night, to the bullring where they would be killed in the evening, and to charge Bohemian tourists with no sense of compassion 250 bucks to stand on somebody's balcony. Ah, sorry. I don't want to push my beliefs on anybody, but I do want to present to you a huge gallery of pictures from the event. They're beautiful shots, and I guess it's hard to take a picture of anybody doing anything during the Running of the Bulls without it looking like a critique on humanity. It's apparently important to a nation's culture, like our professional football games, and we can't hold it against Spain and the Spanish that most of the people paying to attend are devolved goons, like at our professional football games.
Enjoy. And be sure to be in Pamplona for the running next July and every Summer after, should you decide this looks like a great way to spend an afternoon.
[header photo credit AP / Daniel Ochoa de Olza]
Ending this the only way I know how, with mascot photos.
[photo credit to Robertfoto via Flickr]