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Spain’s famous San Fermin of the bull-running festival has been cancelled indefinitely amid the social distancing protocol to fight the spread of COVID-19. By Tanvi Jain

 

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The COVID-19 outbreak has forced authorities in Navarre’s capital of Pamplona in Spain, to cancel the famous San Fermin Fiesta or the bull-running festival, which was scheduled to take place in July this year. 

The eight-day-long event usually witnesses a gathering of around 10 lakh people celebrating on the streets, and the bulls running through the narrow streets. The activities comprise of non-stop parties, religious parades, concerts, bullfights and bull runs. 

However, this year, it won’t be the case due to social distancing protocol to curb the spread of coronavirusThe announcement was recently made by Pamplona’s acting mayor Anna Elizalde.

 

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This is the fourth time in the history that the famous festival has been suspended. It was suspended in 1937 and 1938 during the Spanish Civil War and was again cancelled in 1978 after a student was shot in clashes between the cops and the protesters calling for an independent Basque region. 

Following the cancellations, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) the UK has reportedly written to Elizalde, offering a lumpsum amount to permanently end the bull runs and fights. The organisation has been partnering with the Spanish animal rights groups since 2002 to protest animal brutality. 

 

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The San Fermin festival is believed to have been started by the city’s patron saint — St Ferminaround 400 years agoThe controversial procedure occurs in three steps, first, a man riding a blindfolded bull stabs him in the back, making him bleed, which makes him weaker and he is not able to lift his head. Secondly, harpoons are used which increases the bleeding, and thirdly the sword delivers the final blow. 

Spain is one of the worst affected countries from the pandemic. It faced the toughest lockdown in entire Europe, up until recently, when the government allowed children under the age of 14 to take short walks outside, but only under supervision. 

 

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Related: Germany Cancels Oktoberfest 2020 Due To COVID-19 Pandemic