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July 13, 2011

Running wild: San Fermin festival 2011

Those mad adrenaline- (and sometimes alcohol-) infused half-mile dashes dodging 1,800-pound stampeding bulls have begun through the streets of Pamplona, Spain. Part-spectacle, part-tradition, the Running of the Bulls is the most celebrated slice of the nine-day San Fermin Festival. In addition to the daily runs, events include bullfighting and a parade featuring a statue of Pamplona\'s first bishop, St. Fermin. Pleads for safety and prayers of thanksgiving to St. Fermin traditionally begin and end the run through the streets, which was famously depicted in Ernest Hemingway\'s \"The Sun Also Rises.\" Concluding on the 14th of July every year, attendees gather on the town hall plaza at midnight for singing by candlelight.(40 photos total)

Spanish bull fighter Alberto Aguilar looks at a Dolores Aguirre Ybarra\'s ranch fighting bull during a bullfight at San Fermin fiestas in Pamplona northern Spain, Saturday July 9 (Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press)

A reveler is tossed in the air during the start of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona July 6, 2011. (Susana Vera/Reuters) #

A gigante (giant) passes down a street of Pamplona during the San Fermin procession on July 7, 2011 in Spain. Pamplona's famous Fiesta de San Fermin, which involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona for eight days starting July 7th, was made famous by the 1926 novel of U.S. writer Ernest Hemmingway called 'The Sun Also Rises'. (Denis Doyle/Getty Images) #

A reveler jumps from a fountain at the Plaza de Navarreria during the start of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona July 6, 2011.(Susana Vera/Reuters) #

Revelers sitting on the ground follow the directions of a fellow reveler on the first day of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona July 6, 2011. The festival, best known for its daily running of the bulls, kicked off on Wednesday with the traditional "Chupinazo" rocket launch and will run until July 14. (Susana Vera/Reuters) #

Anti-bullfighting demonstrators protest, one of them displaying a banner reading: ' Pamplona: Blood, Torture and Dead ', against the bulls runs on the Ayuntamiento Square in Pamplona northern Spain, Sunday July 3, 2011. (Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press) #

Runners are held back by shepherds in front of a steer at the entrance to the bullring during the first running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 7, 2011. Four people suffered minor injuries in the run that lasted two and a half minutes, according to local news sources. (Vincent West/Reuters) #

Revelers are surprised by an angry leading ox, used to drive the fighting bulls during the running of the bulls at the San Fermin fiestas on Thursday, July 7, 2011, in Pamplona, Spain. (Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press) #

Revelers run on the Estafeta corner as one Jose Cebada Gago ranch falls during the second running of the bulls at the San Fermin fiestas in Pamplona northern Spain, Friday July 8, 2011. #

Revelers stand at their balcony to watche the running of the bulls at the San Fermin fiestas on Saturday, July 9, 2011, in Pamplona, Spain. (Ivan Aguinaga/Associated Press) #

A runner holds the horn of a Dolores Aguirre fighting bull during the running of the bulls at the San Fermin fiestas on Saturday, July 9, 2011. (Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press) #

Revelers run next to Cebada Gago ranch fighting bulls during the running of the bulls at the San Fermin fiestas on Friday, July 8, 2011. (Ivan Aguinaga/Associated Press) #

A model of a bull with fireworks attached to it on Plaza del Castillo Square at the San Fermin fiestas in Pamplona northern Spain, July 9. (Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press) #

A boy reacts in fear as a "Kiliki" approaches him during San Fermin festival's "Comparsa de gigantes y cabezudos" (Parade of the giants and the big heads) in Pamplona July 8, 2011. Enormous puppets accompanied by brass bands parade daily through the city during the nine-day-long festival. (Susana Vera/Reuters) #

A reveler lies on a bench while soap from cleaning workers make the dirt and rubbish flows away from him at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain, Saturday, July 9, 2011. (Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press) #

A man plays the violin during the San Fermin Festival, on July 12, 2011. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups. (Pedro Armerste/AFP/Getty Images) #

Revelers sleep after the start of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona July 6, 2011. The festival, best known for its daily running of the bulls, kicked off on Wednesday with the traditional "Chupinazo" rocket launch and will run until July 14. (Susana Vera/Reuters) #

People toss a girl into the air in the early hours of the morning before the San Fermin running-of-the-bulls on July 8. ( Denis Doyle/Getty Images) #

A child wears a mask of a bull during festivities on the second day of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 7. (Vincent West/Reuters) #

A woman takes a photograph of a 'picador' before a bullfight at the San Fermin fiestas on Friday, July 8. (Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press) #

A couple kisses amidst rubbish at Estafeta corner during the fourth running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 10. (Vincent West/Reuters) #

An old man earns his living imitating a Spanish bull fighter in front a wall with a poster reading: "Forbidden to put Posters" during the San Fermin fiestas in Pamplona northern Spain. (Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press) #

Spanish bullfighter Julian Lopez "El Juli" is applauded following a bullfight during the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 12. (Vincent West/Reuters) #

An unidentified Spanish bullfighter assistant waits to make "the paseillo" or ritual entrance to the arena before a bullfight at the San Fermin fiestas on Friday, July 8, 2011, in Pamplona, Spain. (Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press) #

A Torrestrella ranch fighting bull is seen during a bullfight at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain, on Thursday, July 7. (Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press) #

A fighting cow leaps over runners at the bullring after the first running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 7, 2011. Four people suffered minor injuries in the run that lasted two and a half minutes, according to local news sources. (Joseba Extaburu/Reuters_ #

A heifer charges at a reveler at Pamplona's bullring after the sixth running of the bulls at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 12, 2011. Two people were gored in a run that lasted two minutes and 16 seconds, according to local news sources. (Joseba Etxaburu/Reuters) #

Spanish bullfighter Juan Jose Padilla, center, gets his 'capote' attached before a bullfight at the San Fermin fiestas on Sunday, July 10. (Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press) #

Spanish bullfighter Julian Lopez "El Juli" performs during a bullfight at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 12. (/Vincent West/Reuters) #

Spanish matador Ivan Fandino gives a pass to a Fuente Ymbro's bull during a bullfight at the San Fermin festival on July 11. (Pedro Armestre/AFP/Getty Images) #

Spanish matador El Juli reacts as he gives a pass to a Victoriano del Rio's bull during a bullfight of the San Fermin festival on July 12, 2011, in Pamplona, northern Spain. (Javier Soriano/AFP/Getty Images) #

Spanish bull fighter Alberto Aguilar makes the final thrust with the ' estoque ' to Dolores Aguirre Ybarra's ranch fighting bull during a bullfight at San Fermin fiestas in Pamplona northern Spain, Saturday July 9, 2011. (Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press) #

Spanish matador David Mora is knocked over by a Cebada Gago's bull during a bullfight of the San Fermin festival on July 8. (Pedro Armestre/AFP/Getty Images) #

Cebada Gago's bull is seen during a bullfight of the San Fermin festival on July 8, 2011, in Pamplona, northern Spain. (Pedro Armestre/AFP/Getty Images) #

A recortador performs with a fighting bull during an exhibition of acrobatic skills at the bullring on the fourth day of the annual San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 9. (Joseba Etxaburu/Reuters) #

Recortadores perform during an exhibition of riding and acrobatic skills at the bullring on the sixth day of the annual San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 11. (Joseba Etxaburu/Reuters) #

Mexican bullfighter Arturo Saldivar performs during a bullfight at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain, on Thursday, July 7, 2011. (Daniel Ochoa de Olza) #

Rejoneador (bullfighter on horseback) Roberto Armendariz performs at the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona July 6, 2011. The annual festival, best known for its daily running of the bulls, kicked off on Wednesday with the traditional "Chupinazo" rocket launch and will run until July 14. (Joseba Etxaburu/Reuters) #

Spanish bullfighter Antonio Ferrera inserts "banderillas" into a bull during the fifth bullfight of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 11. (Susana Vera/Reuters) #

A wild cow chases runners at the bullring following the first running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 7. (Vincent West/Reuters) #



 
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