(Last updated on: 27/01/2022)
The Running of the Bulls, which takes place yearly in Pamplona, is an important part of Spanish culture. It has existed for many years, and will continue to occur each July. Bull running is a popular part of the San Fermin Festival. It also takes place in Mexico, Portugal and the south of France. This blog post is all about what to wear to Running of the Bulls – so read on to find out!
What to wear to Running of the Bulls
Whether you are running with the bulls or simply a spectator, there is a bit of a dress code. It adds to the fun and the sense of community involved in the Running of the Bulls. Plus, think of the cool family photos you’ll be able to look back on!
If you’re a runner (or a mozo) then the typical outfits is as follows:
- White trousers
- White shirt
- Red bandana (to be tied around your neck or waist)
And what to wear to Running of the Bulls as a tourist or spectator is pretty much the same. As long as you’re wearing mostly-white and a splash of red, then you’re good to go! Whether you opt for white skinny jeans, white chinos, a swishy white skirt – anything is fine. Pair with a white shirt, vest top or t-shirt and add a red sash, red scarf or a red bandana.
GOOD TO KNOW: don’t wear anything that is too precious to you. By the end of the Running of the Bulls you’ll be covered in sangria stains and, chances are, your clothes might get ripped too.
Is it compulsory to wear red and white?
When planning what to wear to Running of the Bulls, red and white isn’t compulsory. It is, however, a big part of the culture than comes alongside bull running. To really feel as though you are involved in the tradition, wearing red and white is a good idea.
You can add a little something extra too. The Running of the Bulls is broadcast live across the world, and chances are if you’re attending (or indeed partaking) you’ll have let your friends and family know to look out for you. So make yourself stand out! Choose a bright football shirt or add a neon hairband into the mix. As long as you’re mostly in white and red, you’ll still be part of the celebrations but it’ll be easy for your loved ones to spot you – and for you to spot yourself who you’re watching the bull-running footage back in the future.
GOOD TO KNOW: bulls are actually colourblind in terms of the colour red. This means that wearing a red scarf, sash, rag or bandana doesn’t make you more of a target to these animals.
What else do you need to know about the Running of the Bulls?
There is a lot to bear in mind when planning a trip to Pamplona to catch the bull-running. It’s not just what to wear to the Running of the Bulls that’s important – there is so much more to it.
The Running of the Bulls takes place daily between July 7th and July 14th, at around 8.00 am each morning. Typically, the bull-running is over within a few minutes.
If you want to take part and actually run with the bulls, you must over 18. You don’t need to sign up in advance but it is imperative that you respect the rules. This means that you cannot run when under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can’t touch or harass the bulls, and you can’t carry objects which may impede the safety of those running.
The bull-running parts at the slope of Santo Domingo street, and it ends inside the arena at the bullring. This is a distance of just 875 metres. Runners must make their way to a gateway next to City Hall between 6.30 am and 7.30 am – spectators are advised to look for a good spot early too. It can get crowded and you don’t want to miss the action!
There are four rockets to be aware of:
- The first rocket: the Running of the Bulls has commenced.
- The second rocket: all six fighting bulls have left the pens and therefore are now on the streets.
- The third rocket: the bulls have now entered the pens inside the bullring.
- The fourth rocket: the fencing can now be open and the streets can be used as normal for the rest of the day.
Other things to do in Pamplona
Now that you know what to wear to Running of the Bulls in Pamplona and some other information about the tradition, it’s important to note some other things to do in this fantastic area of Spain. Pamplona is a major stop on the Camino de Santiago and there is plenty to do in the city.
- Visit the beautiful Pamplona Cathedral, a historic church with a stunning gothic interior. It is beautiful and there are Medieval kings buried there!
- Head to the Museum of Navarra. Located in an old hospital, this is Navarre’s art museum full of ancient art and artefacts.
- Pop to Jardines de la Taconera. This a beautiful park full of colourful flowers, lush green spaces and with access to the old city walls. The perfect place to watch the sunset in Pamplona!
- Don’t miss the Church of San Lorenzo. It is a stunning historic chapel on the edge of the old center of town.
So that’s what to wear to Running of the Bulls, some further information and some more tips for visiting Pamplona. It is a fascinating tradition. If you are planning to visit the area during the San Fermin Festival, then it’ll be hard not to catch the bull-running at some point!