We are now receiving dozens and dozens of emails each day, from all over the world, in at least as many languages! One of the most popular questions we are being asked is: "What is the 'txupinazo', anyway?" "Is the 'chupinaxco' the same as the 'txupinazo' ?"
The San Fermín fiesta officially begins at 12 noon, on the 6th of July, each and every year! In preparation for this huge and much anticipated event, the crowds of revelers begin to gather in front of the Town Hall, in the Plaza Consistorial, as early as 9:30am.....the square is quite small, and an estimated 13,000 revelers squeeze into this medieval Plaza - this makes for an estimated 5 to 6 persons having to share a square meter of ground space! Just before 12 noon, Pamplona's mayor and members of the Town Council come out onto the balcony of the Town Hall - called the Ayuntamiento - to greet the crowds and to officially announce the beginning of this year's sanfermines. The announcement of "Pamploneses, Viva San Fermín! Gora San Fermín!" (Citizens of Pamplona, long live San Fermín!") is shouted from the balcony...the crowds shout back: "Viva!" and "Gora!" At this moment, when the clock strikes 12 noon, the rocket (txupinazo) is launched and totally unbridled insanity commences! Thousands of bottles of champagne are uncorked simultaneously - all over the old city Pamplona! - and, the revelers, who are all dressed in white, may now tie their red "pañuelos" around their necks.....the San Fermín fiesta has officially begun!