El Chupinazo

El Chupinazo – Official Start of the San Fermin Fiesta

Every July, the normally quiet Spanish hamlet of Pamplona comes alive for 9 consecutive days as spectators and potential bull runners pour in for the world-famous San Fermin Festival. Hundreds of thousands of revelers donning white clothes and red scarves pack into Plaza Consistorial and other key locations, awaiting the pyrotechnic blast known as El Chupinazo that marks the start of the traditional fiestas.

The Chupinazo is the most-anticipated moment of the San Fermin Festival Opening Ceremony, and by 10:30 AM on July 6th the square below City Hall is an undulating mass of festival-goers, their white shirts stained pink by flowing red wine and sangria. The rocket is launched from a City Hall balcony at 12 o’clock noon, making the crowds cheer wildly as they furiously wave their red scarves in the air. The roar of the crowd is thunderous, and this spectacular opening ceremony is a sight to behold (and best experienced from the comfort and safety of a Pamplona balcony).

Chupinazo Pamplona – San Fermin Festival Opening Ceremony

The firing of the famous rocket – El Chupinazo – has been tradition since 1941, and officially marks the beginning of this centuries-old fiesta. Custom dictates that the Pamplona mayor chooses who will launch the rocket each year. On most occasions, the honor is bestowed on recently elected city council representatives, but local soccer heroes have also had the pleasure.

After the rocket darts through the sky, the celebratory crowd goes crazy, knowing that the World’s Largest Fiesta™ has really begun. The atmosphere is joyous and fun-loving, and it’s not unusual for buckets of water to be splashed down from balcony onlookers.

The Chupinazo in Pamplona can be viewed live from jumbo screens throughout town, including Paseo de Sarasate, Parque de Antoniutti, Plaza del Castillo and Plaza de los Fueros.

Chupinazo San Fermin Fiesta Experts

Make the most of your San Fermin experience with knowledgeable guidance from The Running of the Bulls®, Pamplona’s largest and highest-rated tour operator, with 35 local team members to support your journey. For more information on Chupinazo or other specific festival events, or assistance with travel plans, we invite you to speak with one of our Pamplona experts.