Friday, July 8, 2016

San Fermin

     Recently, I was sorting boxes of old papers, letters, photos, etc.  This is a job that will never be done, but let's not even go into that.
Sometimes these sessions unearth interesting topics to share.  Even though there is more on Doc Grisso to discuss and the discoveries of the genealogy road trip to West Virginia needs to be told, this cartoon is a timely distraction. 

July 6-July 14 is the Festival of San Fermin
also known as
The Running of the Bulls


     Coming across this cartoon was a fabulous memory jogger of an extraordinary adventure I had in 1995.  Genealogists are encouraged to write about themselves as well as their ancestors. SO, this is a surprise piece of information for my grandchildren and their descendants. Yes, Grandma went to Pamplona, Navarre, Spain to celebrate with the locals and observe the famous Running of the Bulls.

     Here I am pointing to the flyer advertising the excursion to Pamplona. Notice the shirt on the board. Of course, I have one but it is probably in a box in the shed waiting to be rediscovered.
     Along with a few friends, I attended a school in Madrid for several weeks in July of 1995. The excursion to Pamplona was an added bonus. I have found some old photos and would like to share a few of my impressions from the festival.

     The Festival of San Fermin has been around since the Middle Ages. It is a week long fiesta to honor Navarre's  Patron Saint, San Fermin.  It is said that Ernest Hemingway introduced the world to the Running of the Bulls with his novel The Sun Also Rises.  Even though a large statue of Hemingway stands in the main plaza of the Plaza de Toros, it is a little controversial as to whether bringing all this attention to an originally religious and traditional family event was a positive or not.

     Although overrun with foreigners (including me), I witnessed a family and community celebration.  Everywhere the Pamplonians  were dressed in white shirts, white pants, red sashes, and  red neck-scarves, the traditional garb.  I saw policemen wearing red scarves even though they were in uniform. From the tiniest of babies to the oldest family members, sometimes in wheel chairs, red scarves adorned everyone's necks.  I even saw cute little dogs with bandanas tied around their necks.

People everywhere

Cute little dog with neck scarf.

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