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Spain’s Pamplona bull-run cancelled for 2nd year due to pandemic

MADRID: Spain’s best-known bull-running festival held in the northern city of Pamplona (a city in Spain’s northern region of Navarre)   will be cancelled for the second year in a row because of the coronavirus pandemic, Pamplona’s mayor said Monday.
“It is with regret that I am forced to officially cancel the San Fermin festival for this year 2021”, Enrique Maya told a news conference.
He said staging the festival, normally held in July and which includes the hair-raising daily bull runs, would be “a very high risk” as the number of people vaccinated is still too low.
The Navarre region, the capital of which is Pamplona, has one of the highest rates of Covid-19 in Spain.
The regional authorities had already said in February that the festival would likely have to be cancelled for a second consecutive year.
The festival in honour of the patron saint of Spain’s northern Navarre region — San Fermin — dates back to medieval times and involves religious processions, concerts and all-night partying in addition to the bull runs that have made it famous.
The festival draws tourists from around the world and its cancellation will deal another blow to the local economy, already reeling from restrictions to contain the spread of the virus.

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It is an annual event. In the second week of July six bulls are released every day at 8 a.m. into the narrow streets of Pamplona. Millions watch hundreds of aficionados running in front of them. Although the act is forbidden many try to to get out in front to grab bull by its horns. Incidentally the bulls ultimately are slaughtered after reaching the bullring and facing bullfighters. Aficionados reject condemnation by saying that the activity was vital part of their culture and people had been doing that for hundreds of years.

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.