The Spanish bull is back with thrills and emotions

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The Bull Festival in Pamplona, ​​San Fermin, returns after a two-year hiatus to coronavirus pandemic.

The festival began on July 6 with great excitement and brought together families and friends to celebrate.

More than 10,000 people donned the usual white trousers, red belt and cravat and filled the square in front of the town hall for the traditional “chupinazo” to kick off the nine-day festivities.

The festival starts every day with a bull run every morning at 8 am.

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One of the participants said that he missed the festival in the two years of its existence. shutdown due to COVID-19.

“The two years without Pamplona were very, very bad,” he said. Associated Press in Spanish. “How lucky to be with friends here this year in Pamplona. Amazing. Hopefully there will be no more COVID next year.”

Population of Pamplona approaching 200,000 people, but San Fermin brings almost 1,000,000 people to the Spanish city. Many visitors have the festival on their wish list.

“Amazing atmosphere, wonderful people, wonderful opportunity to celebrate. We love it here,” said Harvey Miller, 21, from Philadelphia, who made his first trip with his sisters, Ashley, 30, and Kayla, 23.

“I think people are trying to catch up because two years is a long time,” Miller said. “So this time everyone is trying their best and the festival is bigger and better than ever.”

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The festival reunited friends and families from all over the world. Martin Chozas, 76 from Spain visited the festival for the first time and plans to stay “as long as the body takes it.”

“It’s like going to heaven,” Chozas said.

The highlight of the festival is the morning bull run, where hundreds of people, mostly men, test their strength and agility on the 956-yard bullring in Pamplona. Bulls later killed by professional bullfighters.

In addition, visitors enjoy a variety of restaurants and tapas bars, spontaneous parties and performances for children.

Although bulls do not attack unless provoked, a bod strike is possible. In the seven runs that have happened so far, there were four reports of pain. Goring is something that members applaud but hope it doesn’t happen.

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During the last festival in 2019, eight people were injured. Sixteen people have died in bull runs since 1910. The last death occurred in 2009. Spanish Red Cross medics are on site to respond quickly to any injuries sustained during the bull run. .

Prior to the pandemic, the festival was suspended during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.