PAMPLONA, Spain – Party-goers and bull-running followers packed the first sq. in Pamplona on Saturday to cheer the launch of a firecracker which marks the start of the northern Spanish metropolis’s annual San Fermin festival.
Decked out in white t-shirts and trousers stained pink by the wine that flows freely on the festival, the gang danced and waved typical pink handkerchiefs bearing the image of the native patron saint.
The “chupinazo” rocket fizzed into the sky at midday (1000 GMT), formally opening festivities all through which particularly bred bulls chase runners via an 800-meter (0.5 miles) stretch of slender streets each morning at 8 a.m (0600 GMT).
Over a million people attend the festival yearly, bringing a hefty contribution to the native financial system.
One of a variety of bull-running events in Spain, the festival often ignites debate regarding the remedy of animals.
Protesters with fake spears protruding from their backs took to the streets on Friday to highlight what they see as animal cruelty.