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Cuéllar: The Bull-Runs of Nuestra Señora del Rosario

Date: The last Sunday of August

The location for one of the oldest bull-run festivals in all of Spain is the city of Cuéllar in the province of Segovia. The deep-rooted tradition and popularity of the festival have earned it the recognition of being declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León. The celebrations of the bull-runs of Nuestra Señora del Rosario are held during the festival of the patron saint, but the most popular day is the last Sunday of August, when five bull-runs take place in the streets of the city.

At 7.50 in the morning people are already waiting excitedly for the bulls. The first stretch runs form the area of the bullpens to the edge of the pinewoods, from where the horsemen will then drive the bulls to the bullring. After crossing the pine grove, the horsemen walk the bulls to a resting place, where they can take a pause.

Now comes the most complicated stretch where the mountains finish and the road begins. By this time it is about 9.30, and the urban circuit begins. The bulls are driven through the streets of Cuéllar until they arrive at Los Paseos, where the bullring is placed.

The run can take up to an hour and a half. While the men are herding the bulls around the countryside, the people of the town wait impatiently for them to enter the city. To pass the time, they dance the traditional dance and sing a song called "¡A por ellos!" (After them!) that is known as the hymn of the town. Even more so, if possible, at the end of the festivities on Saturday at 7.00 in the afternoon, when the final announcements are given to an overflowing Plaza Mayor, and the town ends the festival by bursting into song when the announcer shouts "after them!". This is when the partying really begins.

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