Tuesday 21 October 2014

Spain bull-running festival begins

Published 06/07/2013 | 15:38

A reveller jumps from a fountain at the Plaza de Navarreria as he is sprayed with water during the start of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 6, 2013. REUTERS/Susana Vera (SPAIN - Tags: SOCIETY)
A reveller jumps from a fountain at the Plaza de Navarreria as he is sprayed with water during the start of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 6, 2013. REUTERS/Susana Vera (SPAIN - Tags: SOCIETY)
Revelers wearing red Basque berets, look on from a balcony in Ayuntamiento square in Pamplona, northern Spain (AP)
Revelers enjoy themselves in Ayuntamiento square, in Pamplona, northern Spain at the start of the bull-running festival (AP)

The start of the annual San Fermin bull-running festival has been delayed briefly after suspected Basque nationalists obstructed the view in a historic city plaza in Pamplona before dignitaries could set off a firework marking the beginning of reveries.

The nine-day fiesta featuring a heady mix of alcohol, bulls and adrenaline began some 20 minutes later than planned after organisers removed an oversize Basque flag that blocked the balcony from where the rocket, known as Chupinazo, was to be ignited.

Thousands of revellers, dressed in white, packed the square chanting Viva San Fermin and waited 19 minutes as the flag was removed.

Immortalised in Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises, the ancient festival is famous for daily bull runs and all-night partying.

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