In Spain, crowds of would-be bull-fighters are in Pamplona for the traditional Festival of the Bulls.
In Spain, crowds of would-be bull-fighters are in Pamplona for the traditional Festival of the Bulls. Last year political riots halted the week-long celebrations, but this year the bulls are making most of the running.
SYNOPSIS: The boom of a rocket signalled the bulls being set loose. Within seconds the young men of Pamplona are sweeping through barricaded streets ahead of the bulls. It looks reckless but in half a century less than a dozen lives have been lost. The first mile (1.5 kilometres) of the chase is through the old quarter of the picturesque Navarre capital.
In just minutes the runners have reached the bull ring.
The runners, hundreds of young and not so young men, most of whom had spent the previous night drinking and dancing, all survived the first stretch. But inside the bull ring the animals showed more determination.....and it is here that things can get rough.
Last year the Basque festival developed into an all-out riot forcing the week-long event to be halted for the first time since the Spanish Civil War. This time the only clashes were with the bulls and the steers. The all-night revellers, many dressed in traditional white outfits with red scarves and sashes, seemed determined to enjoy themselves and sweep aside the memory of last year's disturbances.
The festival, given worldwide fame through Earnest Hemingway's books, was stooped last year after a young left-wing Basque was shot dead by the state police. Trouble had flared after police unexpectedly burst into the bullring and began firing rubber bullets at demonstrators calling for an amnesty for Basque nationalist prisoners. Days of rioting followed and thousands of tourists deserted the town. But on Saturday (7 July) the bullring was full again and Pamplona's hotels booked out.