San Fermin bull-running festival starts

Topics: From the Wires,

San Fermin bull-running festival startsRevelers hold up traditional red neckties during the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2013 San Fermin fiestas, Saturday, July 6, 2013 in Pamplona, Spain. Revelers from around the world kick off the San Fermin festival with a messy party in the Pamplona town square, one day before the first of eight days of the running of the bulls glorified by Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel 'The Sun Also Rises'. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)(Credit: Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

PAMPLONA, Spain (AP) — The start of the annual San Fermin bull-running festival has been delayed briefly after suspected Basque nationalists obstructed the view in a historic city plaza before dignitaries could set off a firework marking the beginning of reveries.

The nine-day fiesta featuring a heady mix of alcohol, bulls and adrenaline began some 20 minutes later than planned on Saturday after organizers removed an oversize Basque flag that blocked the balcony from where the rocket, known as Chupinazo, was to be ignited.

Thousands of revelers, dressed in white, packed the square chanting “Viva San Fermin” and waited 19 minutes as the flag was removed.

Immortalized in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises,” the ancient festival is famous for daily bull runs and all-night partying.

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