Other Discussions on Spain

A baby's nose...or jaw?

July 7 is the feast of St, Fermin, when the bulls run in Pamplona, chasing hare-legged and hare-brained youths. Everyone knows that because of a sensationalist piece by bull-headed Ernest Hemingway. The festivities go on for nine days. San Fermin, who is forgotten, must be turning over in his grave at this debasing of his feast. Born in Pamplona, he evangelized the whole area from Amiens in Prance to Navarre. He was executed in the persecution of Christians by Diocletian in 303. Public demonstrations of joy for the hopes of the Spanish soccer team in the World Cup had given way to nasty criticism when it returned home ingloriously. Now the same crowd is jumping around again for victory over a team of bulls, who may gore one or two of the young idiots but who inevitably die in a fixed game. St. Fermin's feastday had been September 25, the date of his martyrdom, but it was moved to coincide with the cattle fair. Sainthood, bah! bulls and money, yes!

Saints' days celebrated individuals who had led exemplary lives. The feast of St. Fermin exemplifies of the progress we have made since the Middle Ages.

Ronald Hilton - 07/06/98