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

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Denia Bulls
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Spanish town's annual Bulls to the Sea festival puts Pamplona's running with the bulls festival to shame
Spain is all about the bull so it come as no surprise they have more than one event where people get to run from them as sport.
A man is gored by a bull during the traditional running of bulls 'Bous a la mar' (Bull in the sea) at Denia's harbour, near Alicante, on July 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JOSE JORDAN (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)
People look at a bull swimming during the traditional running of bulls 'Bous a la mar' (Bull in the sea) at Denia's harbour, near Alicante, on July 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JOSE JORDAN (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)
People jump in the sea during the traditional running of bulls 'Bous a la mar' (Bull in the sea) at Denia's harbour, near Alicante, on July 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JOSE JORDAN (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)
People take part in the traditional running of bulls 'Bous a la mar' (Bull in the sea) at Denia's harbour, near Alicante, on July 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JOSE JORDAN (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)
People look at a bull during the traditional running of bulls 'Bous a la mar' (Bull in the sea) at Denia's harbour, near Alicante, on July 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JOSE JORDAN (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A bull jumps in the sea during the traditional running of bulls 'Bous a la mar' (Bull in the sea) at Denia's harbour, near Alicante, on July 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JOSE JORDAN (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A man is gored by a bull during the traditional running of bulls 'Bous a la mar' (Bull in the sea) at Denia's harbour, near Alicante, on July 7, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JOSE JORDAN (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)
DENIA, SPAIN - JULY 14: A bull jumps on a reveler as he is chased into the sea during the 'Bous a la Mar' festival on July 14, 2011 in Denia, Spain. 'Bous a la Mar', or ''Bulls to the Sea,' festival is held to honor the Santisima Sangre and commemorate the monk Pedro Esteve, who is said to have saved the coastal town of Denia from a plague in 1633. The bulls that are chased into the water are brought back to land by small boats. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
DENIA, SPAIN - JULY 14: A bull is chased into the sea during the 'Bous a la Mar' festival on July 14, 2011 in Denia, Spain. 'Bous a la Mar', or ''Bulls to the Sea,' festival is held to honor the Santisima Sangre and commemorate the monk Pedro Esteve, who is said to have saved the coastal town of Denia from a plague in 1633. The bulls that are chased into the water are brought back to land by small boats. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
DENIA, SPAIN - JULY 14: A bull swims after being chased into the sea during the 'Bous a la Mar' festival on July 14, 2011 in Denia, Spain. 'Bous a la Mar', or ''Bulls to the Sea,' festival is held to honor the Santisima Sangre and commemorate the monk Pedro Esteve, who is said to have saved the coastal town of Denia from a plague in 1633. The bulls that are chased into the water are brought back to land by small boats. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
DENIA, SPAIN - JULY 14: A bull swims after being chased into the sea during the 'Bous a la Mar' festival on July 14, 2011 in Denia, Spain. 'Bous a la Mar', or ''Bulls to the Sea,' festival is held to honor the Santisima Sangre and commemorate the monk Pedro Esteve, who is said to have saved the coastal town of Denia from a plague in 1633. The bulls that are chased into the water are brought back to land by small boats. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
DENIA, SPAIN - JULY 14: Revellers chase a bull into the sea during the 'Bous a la Mar' festival on July 14, 2011 in Denia, Spain. The Spanish 'Bous a la Mar' or 'Bulls to the Sea' festival is held in honour of the Santisima Sangre and commemorate a monk named Pedro Esteve, who, as the legend has it, saved the coastal town of Denia from a plague in 1633. The bulls chased into the sea are later brought back to land by small boats. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
A man on a boat tows a bull back to dry ground during the traditional running of bulls at Denia's harbour, near Alicante on July 8, 2012. AFP PHOTO / JOSE JORDAN (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/GettyImages)
Men in a boat tow a bull back to dry ground during the traditional running of bulls at Denia's harbour on July 5, 2010. AFP PHOTO / JOSE JORDAN (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A bull pushes young people into the water during the traditional bulls celebration at Denia's harbour, near Alicante, on July 06, 2009. AFP PHOTO/DIEGO TUSON (Photo credit should read DIEGO TUSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A bull pushes young people into the water during the tradicional bulls celebration at Denia's harbour, near Alicante, on July 06, 2009. AFP PHOTO/DIEGO TUSON (Photo credit should read DIEGO TUSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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By ERIC LYONS and NADIA SIKANDER

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, KMOV.com reports, but fans passionately defend the longtime tradition.


37 PHOTOS
Pamplona Bull Run
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Spanish town's annual Bulls to the Sea festival puts Pamplona's running with the bulls festival to shame
Participants run in front of Jandilla's bulls during the fifth bull-run of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, on July 11, 2014. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups. AFP PHOTO/ ANDER GILLENEA (Photo credit should read ANDER GILLENEA/AFP/Getty Images)
Participants fall in front of Jandilla's bulls during the fifth bull-run of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, on July 11, 2014. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups. AFP PHOTO/ RAFA RIVAS (Photo credit should read RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
A participant falls in front of a Jandilla's bull during the fifth bull-run of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, on July 11, 2014. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups. AFP PHOTO/ RAFA RIVAS (Photo credit should read RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 10: Revellers fall in front of the Garcigrande's fighting bulls along the Curva de Estafeta during the fifth day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival on July 10, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 09: Matador Juan Jose Padilla fights a Victoriano Del Rio Cortes bull in the bullringr during the fourth day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival, on July 9, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 09: A bull from the Victorio Del Rio Cortes's fighting bulls falls amongs the runners near the end of the run on the fourth day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival on July 9, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 09: A matador performs in the bullringr during the fourth day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls Festival, on July 9, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Participants run in front of Garcigrande's bulls during the fourth bull-run of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, on July 10, 2014. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups. AFP PHOTO/ ANDER GILLENEA (Photo credit should read ANDER GILLENEA/AFP/Getty Images)
Participants run in front of Garcigrande's bulls during the fourth bull-run of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, on July 10, 2014. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups. AFP PHOTO/ ANDER GILLENEA (Photo credit should read ANDER GILLENEA/AFP/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 08: A reveller touches a steer during the third day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival on July 8, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A participant falls in front of a Dolores Aguirre Ybarra's bull during the second bull-run of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, on July 8, 2014. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups. AFP PHOTO / PEDRO ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 07: Runners avoid a fighting calf inside Pamplona Bullring during the second day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival, on July 7, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona, (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 07: Medical services carry a runner after he was charged by the Torrestrella's fighting bulls along the Calle Estafeta during the second day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival on July 7, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 07: Revellers sleep in the early hours before the Torrestrella's running of the bulls during the second day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival on July 7, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
Participants run in front of Torrestrella's bulls during the first bull-run of the San Fermin Festival, on July 7, 2014, in Pamplona, northern Spain. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups. AFP PHOTO / PEDRO ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 07: A steer from the Ranch of Torrestrella runs above a runner entering the bullring during the second day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival, on July 7, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona, (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 07: Caravinagre 'Vinegar face' kiliki hits children during the Comparsa de Gigantes y Cabezudos 'Giants and Big Heads parade' during the second day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival on July 7, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 07: A young boy plays his toy drum during the second day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival, on July 7, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona, (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 07: People run ahead of a Toro del Fuego (flaming bull) is run through the streets of Pamplona on the second day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival on July 7, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona, (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 07: Revellers dance in a bar during the second day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival on July 7, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
Drunk people rest during the first bull-run of the San Fermin Festival, on July 7, 2014, in Pamplona, northern Spain. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups. AFP PHOTO / PEDRO ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
Two participants lie on the ground after falling during the second bull-run of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, on July 8, 2014. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups. AFP PHOTO / RAFA RIVAS (Photo credit should read RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
A man stands next to a painting of a bull-run during the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, on July 8, 2014. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups. AFP PHOTO / PEDRO ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
Participants run in front of Dolores Aguirre Ybarra's bulls during the second bull-run of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, on July 8, 2014. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups. AFP PHOTO / PEDRO ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
Participants run in front of Torrestrella's bulls during the first bull-run of the San Fermin Festival, on July 7, 2014, in Pamplona, northern Spain. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups. AFP PHOTO / RAFA RIVAS (Photo credit should read RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Participants run in front of Torrestrella's bulls during the first bull-run of the San Fermin Festival, on July 7, 2014, in Pamplona, northern Spain. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups. AFP PHOTO / PEDRO ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman waits behind a wooden door with a painting of Saint Fermin before the second bull-run of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, late on July 7, 2014. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups. AFP PHOTO / RAFA RIVAS (Photo credit should read RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 07: Revellers dance in the street during the second day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival on July 7, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 07: Steers and bulls from the Ranch of Torrestrella enter the bullring during the second day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival, on July 7, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona, (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 07: Steers and bulls from the Ranch of Torrestrella enter the bullring during the second day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival, on July 7, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona, (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Participants run in front of Torrestrella's bulls during the first bull-run of the San Fermin Festival, on July 7, 2014, in Pamplona, northern Spain. The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture that attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs despite heavy condemnation from animal rights groups. AFP PHOTO / RAFA RIVAS (Photo credit should read RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 08: People follow the Comparsa de Gigantes y Cabezudos 'Giants and Big Heads parade' on the third day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival, on July 8, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 08: A Basque flag hangs from a balcony as people follow the Comparsa de Gigantes y Cabezudos 'Giants and Big Heads parade' on the third day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival, on July 8, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 07: People react as a Toro del Fuego (flaming bull) is run through the streets of Pamplona on the second day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival on July 7, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona, (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 07: A young boy plays on a running of the bulls statue during the second day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival, on July 7, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona, (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 08: A man poses for a picture in front of bullrunning paint as a woman tries to avoid the camera on the third day of the San Fermin Running Of The Bulls festival on July 8, 2014 in Pamplona, Spain. The annual Fiesta de San Fermin, made famous by the 1926 novel of US writer Ernest Hemmingway 'The Sun Also Rises', involves the running of the bulls through the historic heart of Pamplona. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
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