Spanish town's annual Bulls to the Sea festival puts Pamplona's running with the bulls festival to shame


While the San Fermin festival, where bulls chase revelers or fans through the streets of Pamplona, is world famous, few have heard of the astonishing festival that takes place each year around the same time in the coastal town of Denia, 370 miles south of Pamplona.

According to the German newspaper, Spiegel International, the Bous a la Mar, or Bulls to the Sea, began in 1926 to commemorate Pedro Esteve, a monk who is believed to have saved the town from the plague in 1633. The festival is continued today by thousands and attracts tourists from around the world.

Spiegel International explains that the spectacle begins with a young bull running from the middle of town to a makeshift bullring located near the port. Spectators then attempt provoke the bull without using their hands or arms, in an effort to propel it into the sea. Often, the stubborn bull knows better and will attack participants. Earlier this week, a man suffered severe bleeding after he was gored by a bull when he tripped and fell on the beach.

After the bull tumbles, or in some instances, jumps into the ocean, men in nearby boats lasso it and safely bring it back to land. The day's festivities close with a large celebration and concert. The annual festival has faced heavy criticism, reports, but fans passionately defend the longtime tradition.

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