Unlike in the case of the very modern Tomatina Tomato Fight, the San Fermin Running of the Bulls is a very old festival, dating back to at least the 15th century. The San Fermin festival, originally held in October, is actually a number of festivals which gradually merged to become one:
- the religious celebrations of San Fermin, the patron saint of Pamplona and Navarra.
- a bullfighting festival
- a number of commercial festivals
These many elements of San Fermin have continued from those days up to the present, but the actual running of the bulls came later. It is said that the ritual was born from a mixture of logistical necessity and a typical Spanish reckless desire to have fun: as the bulls were being led from their pen to the bullring for the evening's fights, some wiseguy or (guys) decided it would be fun to run in front of the bulls - you know, for kicks. Whereas in most countries such people would be arrested for endangering lives, the Spanish went and made it an integral part of their festival.