Planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the San Fermin Festival this year? The World’s Largest Fiesta™ promises an action-packed marathon of adrenaline, revelry, daredevil antics and fun! The San Fermin Procession is a highlight of this centuries-old celebration, where thousands accompany the figure of Saint Fermin through Pamplona’s Old Quarter. Running of the Bulls® offers the best ways to experience the pomp and ceremony of this unique parade and enjoy the San Fermin Festival like the locals do!
Procession of San Fermin: key facts
- When: July 7th from 10 AM to 2:30 PM
- Where: The Saint Fermin Procession departs from Pamplona’s church of San Lorenzo
- Why: The annual procession pays homage to Saint Fermin, who is revered as an important historical figure and the First Bishop of Amiens
- Who: The procession is attended by public figures and community members including the Pamplona mayor and councilors, the Archbishop, the municipal police, the farmers and carpenter’s guild, the Pamplonesa brass band, as well as the cortege of Giants and BigHeads.
- What happens: The figure of Saint Fermin is paraded through the cobbled streets of Pamplona, joined by the mace-bearers, ecclesiastical representatives, Jota singers, dancers, Giants, BigHeads and municipal figures dressed in formal attire. The emotional procession is punctuated by interesting acts, songs and dances that celebrate the peoples’ devotion to St. Fermin. The procession ends at the Pamplona cathedral where the statue is lovingly placed on the altar. Mass is held and the City council returns to the Town Hall, where the Giants culminate the event with a traditional twirling dance in the Plaza Consistorial.
The statue of Saint Fermin has symbolic meaning that goes much deeper than religion for the vast majority of Pamplona residents. The Saint elicits warmth, kindness and affection among the citizens of Navarre, making this Procession one of the most anticipated and treasured activities of the entire week-long Fiesta.
Insider tips for watching the San Fermin Procession
Enjoy the sentiment and ritual of the San Fermin Procession as the colorful entourage weaves through the streets of old Pamplona. No need to rent a balcony; the street is the best place to take in the spectacle of this deeply-rooted tradition. The procession route is long enough that crowds spread out, providing ample space and opportunity to snap some amazing photos. The Plaza de Consejo is a great spot for viewing the figure of the Saint during the beginning of the parade.
One of the most thrilling aspects of the procession are the various stops along the way, where people sing traditional Navarran melodies (known as jotas), or play the Basque flute called the txistu in honor of the Saint. In addition, street performers, choirs and bands put on spontaneous, heart-felt demonstrations during these breaks adding a special element to the procession.
If there’s one part of the Procession you want to catch, it’s the “Momentico.” This special moment takes place after mass, when the Giants dance to txistu music while La Pamplonesa band plays “El Asombro de Damasco,” and the cathedral bell can be heard chiming loudly in the background.
We hope our information on the Procession of Saint Fermin has been helpful. For more information, or to speak with one of our Pamplona experts, please complete our travel form.