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Top Phrases to know for the Running of the Bulls

The San Fermin Festival has been a tradition since the 15th century that takes place in a region of the country that actually has its own language. On paper, that could be intimidating to some international travelers, but do not fret, Bucket List Events is here to help!

Below are some of the more common expressions associated with the San Fermin Festival.


Aficionado

An individual who has a thorough passion for bull fights. The featured bust of Ernest Hemingway is located outside of the Plaza de Toros, and he is perhaps the most famous aficionado ever.


Avenida

An avenue or large street


Pamplona’s Ayuntamiento

Ayuntamiento

The town hall. This is where the festival begins on July 6th


Banderilla

This are the buoy like sticks that are stuck into the neck of the bull. This is done by either a banderilleros or sometimes the matador.


Billete

Ticket. You will see this at the train stations or at the bull fights


Bota

These are the sheepskin wine holders that are popular around the San Fermin. Serves kind of like a water bottle, but with wine. These make a cameo in the pages in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.


Cabello

Horse, which you will see at the bull fights and around town


Cabestros

These are the trained steers (almost always brown and white) that help guide the bulls through the streets during the run. While they are not as aggressive, they are still massive and will run you over without hesitation.


Calle

Street


Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Cerveza

Beer. Probably good to know during a festival that can reach up to the 100 degrees during the month of July.


Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Chupinazo

The name of the July 6th festivities that start the part. Translates to “firecracker shot.” You will sometimes see this spelled the Basque way “txupinazo.


Cornada

Goring. Hopefully, you won’t have to know this one personally. You will hear it each morning when the local medical staff gives their daily press conference announcing that morning’s injury. We will not provide a photo for this, but they aren’t hard to find.


Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Corredores

Participants in the running of the bulls


Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Corrida de toros

Translates to the running of the bulls, but this is how the local refer to the bullfights.


Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Encierro

Means containment. Locals refer to bull run as both the Corrida and Encierro


Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Ganaderia

These are the ranches where the bulls are breed. There are different ranches throughout Spain that provide the bulls that participate in the bull run and the bull fights.


Hombre

Man


Invitados

Guests


Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Matador

Means killer. No other way to phrase that


Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Panuelo

Handkerchief. This is a staple of the San Fermin as the participants wear a red panuelo rojo around their neck throughout the festival. You can read more about the San Fermin attire HERE.


Peñas

Club, in this case the drinking clubs of Pamplona. You can’t miss them during the San Fermin, and you can read more about them HERE.


Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Picador

The men on horseback during the bullfights who don a spear. In the above photo, they are the two gentlemen who are holding hats and wearing protective footwear.


Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Plaza del Castillo the night before the San Fermin

Plaza

Public Square


Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Plaza de toros

Bullring or arena. Unlike the states, there is not a sponsor for this stadium, which seats 20,000 people.


Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Rioja

The region of Spain known for producing wine located just Southwest of Pamplona.


Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Sol

Sun. This is important to know for the bull fights


Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Sombra

Shade, also important to know for the bull fights


Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Suelta de vaquillas

Translates to the freeing of the cows. This takes place once the bulls are corralled from morning run, and can only be seen in the plaza de toros, While these bovines are not as imposing as those that participate in the run, they are still massive and do plenty of damage. There are as many serious injuries from this event than the bull run through the streets.


Suelto

Loose, good to know during the bull run when one of the bulls gets separated during the bull run. These situations do not always happen, but some of the most dangerous runs are because of this scenario.


Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Tapas

Small portions of food found throughout bars and bodegas


Toro

Bull


Toro bravo

These are the big, bad bulls bred for bullfighting



Best phrases for the Running of the Bulls

Our guide Fatima takes in the party on Estafeta Street

Verbenas

Street party. You will find these all over the city during the San Fermin, with Calle Nicholas and Calle Estafeta being among the most popular locations.


Want to experience the Running of the Bulls first hand? We have been hosting guests for nearly two decades in Pamplona. Read more about our program below.

 

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