The San Fermín Bull Run Song

The San Fermín Bull Run Song

One of the most beautiful traditions of the San Fermín fiesta, or the Running of the Bulls, is the prayer song sung in unison just before the bulls are released into Pamplona's cobblestone streets. Waving their rolled newspapers, runners gather to sing the prayer to a small statue of the saint San Fermín that is placed in a nook in the wall on Calle Santo Domingo.

The prayer dates back to 1962, when a group of local runners, or mozos, started singing it before each morning run, and it has become one of the many timeless traditions surrounding the world-famous event. Today, the song is sung in both Spanish and Basque several times in the minutes before the bulls are finally released at 8:00am. 

In the prayer, runners ask San Fermín, the patron saint of the festival, for protection in the bull run. If you plan on running with the bulls, learn this song so that you can sing along and, maybe, get a little protection of your own from Pamplona's favorite saint. 

Click here to listen to the song.

First, runners sing in Spanish:

A San Fermín pedimos

Por ser nuestro patron

Nos guíe en el encierro

Dándonos su bendición.

Then, switching to the Basque language, runners sing:

Entzun arren Sanfermin

Zu zaitugu patroi

Zuzendu gure oinak

Entzierro hontan otoi.

In English, the prayer translates to the following: "We ask San Fermín, for he is our patron, to guide us in the encierro (bull run), giving us his benediction."

The prayer to San Fermín serves as a reminder of the festival's deeper significance. While the running of the bulls may seem like a reckless pursuit, it's rooted in a rich cultural heritage that spans centuries. It's about honoring tradition, embracing courage, and leaning on faith in the face of adversity.

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