PAMPLONA will begin its famous San Fermin celebrations on Monday July 6, filling the city with spectators from all over the world eager to participate in thrilling bull runs and city-wide parties.
The week-long festivities kick off at noon on Monday with the chupinazo, a pyrotechnic display that signals the grand opening of the celebration with a big bang. The rocket is launched from the city hall balcony while revellers celebrate in the plaza below, proudly displaying their red scarves, dousing each other with red wine and shouting “Viva San Fermin!”
While the chupinazo can be a barrel of laughs, it has gotten some bad press the last couple of years, with images circulating the internet of bare-chested women being lifted and passed from one groping hand to another. While some instances depict women who’d given in to uninhibited euphoria – others were victims of an “anything goes” festival mentality.
City officials are eager to clean up the festival’s image and have appointed special police forces throughout the city to prevent sexual assaults on women. They are also reminding participants that voluntary acts of exhibition are prohibited.