The Chupinazo of San Fermín

The Chupinazo of San Fermín

Pamplona, Spain is an incredibly sleepy town... Until its not. Every year on the morning of July 6th, the ancient Old Quarter of Pamplona erupts into a frenzy of excitement and anticipation as thousands of people gather in the streets for the iconic event known as El Chupinazo (which means "the rocket" or "the bang"), or El Txupinazo in Basque. This vibrant celebration marks the beginning of the world-famous San Fermín (Running of the Bulls) festival, a week-long fiesta that has become synonymous with bullfighting, revelry, and cultural tradition.

As the clock nears twelve noon, the Mayor of Pamplona appears on the balcony of the town hall, called the Plaza Consistorial, accompanied by local dignitaries and special guests. The crowd below eagerly awaits the signal, their energy palpable as they sing, shout, and spray sangria. Finally, the mayor raises a red pañuelo high above his head as a rocket blasts over the town hall, and a deafening roar erupts from the throng below. The San Fermín fiesta has finally begun.

In an explosion of color and sound, confetti rains down on the jubilant crowd amid shouts of "Viva San Fermín! Gora San Fermín!" - Long Live San Fermín. The streets pulse with life as strangers embrace and dance, united in their shared passion for fiesta. From up above, people on balconies join in the celebration by pouring water from buckets, showering the crowd below to help rinse the sticky sangria off their skin.

The energy of the Chupinazo sets the tone for the entire week, setting off the fiesta with the most joyous celebration imaginable. For the next eight days, Pamplona will be transformed into a whirlwind of activity, as bull runs race through the cobblestone streets each morning and parties rage late into the night. If you're interested in experiencing the Chupinazo from the calm and comfort of a balcony, click here to learn more.

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