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Running of the Nudes/Bulls

Updated on June 19, 2015

Bull Running or Nude Running?

Working for a Spanish Company refurbishing a large hotel in Benidorm Costa Blanca, had its challenges. Although the building work and safety systems were surprisingly the same as in any other european country I had worked in, my limited Spanish at the time was frustrating. Especially as this company would take a two hour lunch break in a local bar/restaurant. So I would sit with my flask of tea, corned-beef and Branston pickle sandwiches, receiving strange looks from the waiters, while listening to their animated debates without being able to contribute.

One day we sat down for the menu of the day. The conversation got heated amongst the older crew members and the younger ones. The boss's son started shouting - to me this was the normal way the Spanish conversed, but this time his father promptly stood up and pushed the table aside, clenched fist and nose to nose with his son. They eventually calmed down saying their version of - we will agree to disagree.

I later found out it was an on ongoing argument about bull fighting, the father disliked his son's point of view that bull fighting was inhumane and anyone that supported it was a blood thirsty idiot.

A view-point the younger generation are adopting more and more.

I asked my daughter and her friends, who are Spanish teenagers, how they feel about bull running and fighting. They seemed to be firmly against it, as if they have, in fact, discussed it and think that it will not be long before it stops, and one suggesting, though it may stop that doesn't mean it will stay stopped.

Image Source

San Fermin

What is it that the Spanish find fun about killing bulls?

The Spanish people who I have spoken to on the subject of bull fighting and who support it, say it's simply a part of the culture and an ancient tradition. When people think, bull fighting or bull running, they think Spain and as for whether they think it is inhumane, their answers are often ambiguous with examples of other countries - let's say - different sports:

Cockfighting, spider and bug fighting are still popular in the Philippines amongst adults and children.

In Thailand Betta fish fighting is still legal. Here is a link if you want to know what that is:

Not to mention the illegal ones that still happen like badger baiting in the UK and canary and dog fights in the USA .

Spain can trace its bullfighting origins back to 711A.D and even though people are saying that it is becoming less popular, thousands attend bullfights each week.

The Spanish aristocracy was stopped from attending bullfights by King Felipe V as it was said to be a bad example, so the lower classes continued it.

Now I'm not going to force my opinion here but I will say I have been to a bull fight and won't ever be going back.

Bull running is often thought of separately from bull fighting yet the reason they are driven through the street is to get to the ring ready to be killed by a Matador (Killer)

The two most popular bull running events are feast of San fermin Pamplona and Denia's Bous a la Mar Festival

Denia is the bull running event that is held at the water's edge and bulls end up jumping or falling into the sea from the harbour wall.

Pamplona is the biggest and considered to be the wildest party on earth.

The bull running tradition started in 1591 as practical operation of herding the bulls to the arena. Butchers eventually drove the bulls as they had an interest at the end.

Now days Pamplona bull run is a global attracting as well as a community event. People from all over the world attend the event and are either supporters or activists.

The activists demonstrate through the streets against the inhumane treatment to bulls that occurs during and after the running of the bulls, referred to as the annual 'Running of the Nudes', most wear little more than red scarfs, horns and signs.

The majority wear underwear, with slogans temporary tattooed across their buttocks and body paint mottoes on various parts. Local authorities forbid protesters parading totally naked and some ignore the authorities as usual.

Hoards of people cram into the square as a rocket is fired from the town hall balcony to start off the fiesta this is called the chupinazo the words Pamploneses - Viva San Femin are spoken and the party explodes and goes on for a week, finishing with the song "Poor Me" Pobre de mi".

The nudes have attracted more interest, crowds and publicity to this July event.

Image by xavi talleda on Flickr Image Source

Running of the Bulls Pamplona 6th/14th July

Dancing - Plaza del Castillo

Pamplona Maps

Pamplona Spain

get directions

SAN FERMIN-PAMPLONA-SPAIN - Running of the bulls

Pamplona's 2014 injuries

How many people suffered injuries during Pamplona's 2014 bull run?

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Running of the Nudes

Naked Protest

Running in Pamplona

What would you prefer running with the bulls or running with the nudes?

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Running of the Nudes

Mass Naked Protest


Images are with permission from PETA

Naked Protesters

Nude Run Protest

Bathed in Blood

What is your point of view on bull running?

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    • Nightcat profile image


      5 years ago

      He looks like Ferdinand the bull, too cute for words. Bulls can be nice if given space and respect.

    • profile image

      Echo Phoenix 

      6 years ago

      the Running of the Bulls is exciting and a cultural aspect of Spain's heritage but Bullfighting is unfair, cruel and just as I have no desire to watch Gladiators fight to the death, I would not attend a Bullfight.


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