But isn't San Fermín
the Patron Saint of Pamplona
? This is the question asked frequently by visitors upon hearing that San Saturnino
is the Patron Saint of this city. San Fermín is the co-Patron Saint of Navarre along with San Francisco Javier, whose festivity is celebrated on 3rd December, declared "Navarre Day".
With that one answered, let's move on the second question: San Saturnino or San Cernin? Quite rightly, it is the same Saint. The worship of San Saturnino, of French origin, was brought by the Jacobean pilgrims to the medieval borough of San Cernin, where the Gothic Temple was devoted to him, so don't be surprised if you hear about the Church of San Cernin
But if you are looking to participate in the festivity, the best option is to accompany the entourage during the procession
. At around 10 am they leave the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and follow a route around the historical Pamplona city centre. Everyone attends: the municipal council dressed in evening wear, txistularis (pipe players), dantzaris (dancers), the "La Pamplonesa" band, and of course, the procession of the Giants and cabezudos, which is sure to delight the youngest members of the family.
At around 12 am the procession returns to the Plaza Consistorial where the dantzaris perform some dances in honour of the city
. The City Council always prepares a varied programme of acts to celebrate the festivity, just as it deserves.
Did you know that...?
Saliendo de la Iglesia de San Saturnino, hay en el suelo una placa que recuerda el "pocico" en el que San Saturnino bautizó a los primeros cristianos de Navarra, entre ellos al que sería su primer obispo, San Fermín.