Surely the most interesting part of Pamplona's San Fermin Festival is its
focus on danger and death. Why would so many people, over hundreds of years,
take part in something everyone fears?
The American writer Ernest Hemmingway explores this very question in his 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises. The main1 characters, who begin to feel empty2 living in modern Paris, travel to Spain and join in the San Fermin Festival. There, they see death through Spanish eyes.
By joining in the events of this colorful festival, they begin to understand how the Spanish, in celebrating death, are actually celebrating life. Through the images3 of the black bull and the bullfighter's blood-red cloth, they discover that the Spanish find meaning in life by worshipping4 heroic5 death. With people running for their lives, and bullfighters dancing with the bulls, life and death come together at the San Fermin Festival.