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San Fermin starts with a bang, as Txupinazo is celebrated in Pamplona and other locations around the world


Concentration in front of the Navarrese Center of Mar del Plata, in Argentina
Concentration in front of the Navarrese Center of Mar del Plata, in Argentina


At twelve o´clock noon yesterday, Pamplona city council member Maite Esporrin launched the 'txupinazo' from the balcony of City Hall above a sea of cheering onlookers, marking the beginning of the festival of San Fermin 2009. The 'txupinazo', the small firework which is the namesake of the opening ceremony, kicks off nine days of festivities which are celebrated not only in Pamplona, but in many other locations around the globe. Though it may not be an official week of holiday outside of Iruña-Pamplona, many Diaspora centers join the celebration with organized events in their own towns which typically take place on the weekends. In Argentina, due to a recent outbreak of Influenza A, the government has been forced to cancel festivities which were set to take place this Thursday, July 9th, and large congregations of people are outlawed for the time being.

Iruña-Pamplona. In places such as the Navarrese Center of Chile, the excitement of the Txupinazo was shared by many who watched the event on either television or the internet. However, the main celebration will take place in Santiago this coming Sunday July 12th, with a whole day of festivities. A mass, presided over by Father Jose Goyena from Tafalla, will be followed by a group of Dantzaris (dancers), accompanied by live traditional music. Lunch will be served at 2:00 pm, and will end at an hour yet to be determined.

In Uruguay, the celebration of San Fermin was announced not only in the coastal capital of Montevideo, but in other locations throughout the country, such as Salto, which is situated in the northeast of the country. Salto is home of the Saltoko Euskaldunen Taldea, a large Basque group, whose members mostly hail from Navarre and Iparralde. The center invites all of its members and friends this coming Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm to celebrate by eating pintxos, tortillas, and other Basque foods, as well as viewing a selection of documentaries.

Although they are located just on the opposite shore of the Uruguay river, those at the Colectividad Vasca de Concordia, in Argentina, who have a strong tradition of celebrating San Fermin, will have to cancel their activities this year. Similarly, in Buenos Aires, Rio Cuarto, Chivilcoy, General Villegas, General Roca Tandil, La Plata, Bolivar, Mar del Plata, Tres Arroyos, Rosario, Mendoza, and many other cities, euskal etxeas and Navarrese centers will be forced to cancel or postpone their planned celebrations due to the health situation.

Across the isthmus of Panama, festivities took place this past Sunday, July 5th in Mexico City,. The fronton of the Euskal Etxea was filled with people dressed in red and white, enjoying the popular annual feast of San Fermin. In Vancouver, Canada, the commencement of the festival was also celebrated on Sunday, and was organized by the Zazpiak Bat Euskal Etxea of British Colombia. In addition to the characteristic red scarves, those who attended the open air celebration in Hume Park of New Westminster enjoyed a plentitude of traditional chorizo and marmitako.

Those seeking to celebrate San Fermines in farther away lands will also find plenty of opportunities to sport their red scarves. In Sydney, Australia, San Fermin is celebrated with a feast in the 'Gure Txoko' center, and China can boast of its own authentic 'Peña', El Kiliki Mandarin, a group formed by natives of Pamplona, which organizes festivities each year in Shanghai. In many other cities, such as Caracas, Venezuela, and others situated closer by, such as Barcelona, Murcia, Valencia, and Madrid, it can be certain that  those attending the events organized by the Navarrese centers and Euskal Etxeas will also not be left disappointed.

Many places, both far and near, mentioned and unmentioned, join Iruña-Pamplona in celebrating the festival of San Fermin each year. For those who are unable to attend any of the above-mentioned festivities, many events may be easily viewed on both television and the internet. On the Web, daily feeds of the events in Pamplona, and numerous other details about San Fermin may be accessed through the following web sites:

-Euskal Telebista:

Other links

Navarrese Center of Chile

Saltoko Euskaldunen Taldea of Salto, Uruguay

Gure Txoko Basque Club of Sydney, Australia

Vancouver Zazpiak Bat Basque Club, Canada

Centro Navarro de Mar del Plata, Argentina

Peña pamplonesa El Kiliki Mandarín, of Shanghai, China

Centro Vasco-Navarro of Valencia, Spain



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