Life in Spain: Encierro

It seems that every city or pueblo has a week-long or perhaps a long weekend of “fiesta” that includes all sorts of events. In our small pueblo there were all sorts of different things going on: a falconry show, bounce houses for the kids, paella lunch for the whole town, concerts, parades, and of course, the running of the bulls (or encierro).

This is mostly staff, students, and friends from our school community waiting for the running of the bulls on a patio that is right on the path. Many people with patios or balconies along the route invite their friends and neighbors over to watch. Others will simply line up behind the fence along the route for an up-close view of the craziness!


Here you can see those of us on the patio looking down onto the sidewalk below where people are lining up along the barriers.

Our town is quite small so they way it works here is that they run 3 steers through the street to go pick up the bull. Then the steers run back through the other way with the bull chasing angrily behind them.  This is a picture of the steers. Personally their horns seem scary enough without all the raging anger! They do this three times: running the steers to pick up a bull and coming back with the bull to the arena. This gives people three opportunities to run.  The idea is to wait for the steers to run past & then jump in while trying to stay out of danger of being gored by the bull.

(Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the bulls they ran in our town, but this picture from the internet will give you an idea of what you are dealing with!)

I can’t help but include a picture of our own vaquero!

And our little chiquita!


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