The bull is undeniably one of the main protagonists of the Sanfermines. These fighting bulls and the mozos (young men) come together at 8 a.m. every morning of the fiesta for the encierro, the best-known event of Pamplona's fiesta. The bullfight takes place in the evening, a spectacle in which the contrast between the silence of the spectators in the seats in the sombra (shade) contrasts with the noise and rollicking of the peñas (social clubs) in the sol (sun) area. Just after nightfall the encierrillo takes place. In a surprising atmosphere of quietness and without runners, the bulls are sent from the 'corrales del gas' to the corral in calle Santo Domingo, the starting point of the bull run.
The best bulls are brought to Pamplona to ensure a high standard. Top ranches such as Cebada Gago, Miura, Domecq or Jandilla come back year after year to make the bullfight an exciting event.
If a ranch is contracted to provide bulls for the encierro and the corrida it is a mark of prestige, although it also involves a great responsibility. Millions of eyes will see the bulls and a wide range of opinions will be expressed on them.
Certain ranches have always been considered to have certain characteristics when it comes to the bravery of their bulls. Almost everyone knows that the Miura are dangerous and strong, but noble in the bullring; the Cebada Gago are dangerous because they are quick-tempered; the bulls of Jandilla are the boldest, and they always bring passion and drama to the bull run. If you would like to see the bulls close up, they can be seen in the corralillos del gas during the fiesta of San Fermín. Visiting hours: from 1 to 13 July, from 11:00 to 13:30 and from 16:30 to 20:30.
The apartado (separation) is when each of the bulls is separated from its companions for the evening bullfight, following a draw. Aficionados (fans) and onlookers in general can observe the appearance and the characteristics of the bulls from a balcony. In Pamplona this takes place at 1 p.m. every day of the fiesta in the corral of the bullring. To gain access, you have to go through the rear entrance Patio de Caballos.
This event is also known as the desfile de caballeros en la plaza (literally, procession of horsemen to the bullring); It is a curious retinue that covers the short distance between the City Hall and the bullring at 5.30p.m. from July 7th to 14th. The caballeros, horsemen dressed in black capes, lead the retinue, followed by two groups of three mulillas (carthorses used to drag the dead bulls from the bull ring) and a total of 14 mulilleros (attendants). The retinue is followed by the city's band 'La Pamplonesa' and, at the rear, anyone who wishes to follow them to the bullring.
In Pamplona the corrida (bullfight) has always been the culmination of the bull run. From July 7th to 14th at 6.30 p.m. a spectacle takes place whose special feature is the crowd. The seats are distributed between the most orthodox bullfight fans in the shade and the mozos of the peñas on the sunny side of the ring; the latter play the leading role in the fiesta with their colour, noise, songs and picnic meals after the third bull has been killed. It is difficult to get a ticket, because 90% of the crowd are season ticket holders. The easiest way is to queue up and buy a ticket for the following day at the end of each bullfight.
This is the transfer of the six fighting bulls the night before the bull run from the corrales del gas on the other side of the river Arga up to the corral in the Cuesta de Santo Domingo, where the bull run starts from. The encierrillo is held at 11. p.m. over a distance of 440 metres. In contrast to the encierro, it is observed in silence without runners in front of the bulls. To see it you need to get a pass from the Town Hall ten days before the start of the fiesta.