Feria des Vendanges in Nîmes, France - running of the bulls

The bull is in the middle of the horses, while the young men on the left wait for the chance to show off their manliness.

When Stephane scheduled a business trip to Nîmes, a 2,000 year old city in the South of France, we were fortunate that it just happened to coincide with the "Feria des Vendanges". The festival, which celebrates the Fall grape harvest, has turned into 4-day bash with bullfighting, parades and free-flowing sangria. That explains why it was so difficult to find a hotel room!

While most of the attention is focused on the corridas, or bullfights, in the Roman amphitheater, there are other events, like the running of the bulls, that give teenagers the opportunity to exhibit their manliness in front of their girlfriends. I'm not sure how it's done in Pamplona, but in Nîmes the young bulls are released from a truck and run behind a group of horses that herd the bulls down the street. As soon as the bulls pass, the teens run after them and try to "take the bull by the horns". If they're able to stop the bulls by pulling on their tails and overpowering them, they release them and swagger back to the starting point. The young men have proven their strength and are obviously proud of it!

Photo credit: Stephane
And how did Stephane, my husband of many years, prove his manliness? After watching me stand in the path of the charging horses to take photos, he suggested that I climb on top of a garbage can to get some arial shots of the bulls. Noticing that the container didn't look very sturdy, I said that he could clamber up to take the pictures. And what did my brave Swiss man do? He agreed, as long as I stabilized the garbage can for him. Ahhh...nothing like chivalry!

Update: A picture of Stephane and me in this exact same pose appeared in the local newspaper, the Midi Libre. I guess that they were impressed by him, too.

Photo credit: Stephane
Running of the bulls at night. The green street light means that they can go! ;-)
We didn't see anyone get injured while running with the bulls, but there was an Emergency Medical Team on hand.

Comments

  1. And there's a lady in the top photo, far right. And from behind the boys look so young--but after a while, they all start to look so young. But young indeed.

    I wonder if the corralling of the bulls with the horses keeps them 'tempered', unlike the free running in Pamplona. Either way, I have nothing to prove about my manliness.

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  2. The boys running during the day were very young, although they were a bit older in the evening. I was wondering if anyone would notice the lady. She was only there in the morning and did a very good job controlling her horse. Well, they all did. With the bulls pushing the horses from behind, I was surprised that they weren't more skittish. Whenever the bulls managed to break free from the horses, the crowd got a real surprise! Even though there was a barrier between the spectators and the bulls, it was pretty impressive to see them charge at the fence. There's no way that I would want to prove my womanliness by running in front of them in Pamplona!

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