Rockets, champagne, music, and unbridled excitement are hallmarks of the Running of the Bulls Opening Ceremonies in Pamplona, Spain. In terms of wild partying, it doesn’t get much crazier than opening day of the Sanfermines Fiesta. On July 6, the quiet town of Pamplona transforms into a lively sea of revelers who have all come for the “Chupinazo,” which marks the start of the San Fermin Festival.
San Fermin Festival Opening Ceremonies
For the uninitiated, the Chupinazo (or Txupinazo as it is known in Basque) is a rocket that announces the start of the Running of the Bulls and the traditional activities common to the festival.
Throughout the morning of July 6, hordes of festival-goers gather in the Plaza Ayuntamiento which faces Pamplona’s Town Hall, knowing that just seconds before noon, the Mayor and members of the City Council will shout from a balcony these thrilling words: “Pamploneses, Pamplonesas, Viva San Fermin! Gora San Fermin!”
The crowd erupts in a frenzy of cheers and the chupinazo is launched high into the Pamplona sky. The World’s Largest Fiesta™ has officially begun, and in one fell swoop, hundreds of bottles of champagne and sangria are opened and sprayed with abandon over the crowds. Everyone gets soaked, as a collective chaos ensues. For most visitors to Pamplona, the Chupinazo opening ceremony is a surreal experience not to be missed.
Tips for watching the Chupinazo
If you are planning to participate in the San Fermin Opening Ceremony in Plaza Ayuntamiento, be prepared to get there before 11:00 a.m. to secure a spot. The square is crammed with thousands of bodies, so it’s best to leave your backpack and valuables at the hotel, and only carry essentials on your person. Go in the knowledge that you will be soaked from head to toe in champagne and sangria by early afternoon. We recommend wearing closed-toed shoes since broken glass is common.
One of the best places to enjoy the Running of the Bulls Opening Ceremonies is from a balcony, where children are welcome and you don’t have to worry about boisterous drunk revelers.
Reach out Running of the Bulls, Inc. to learn more about our Pamplona balcony rentals and Opening Ceremony packages!