Thousands of revelers gather in Pamplona as traditional ''El Chupinazo'' firecracker opens the annual bull-running festival. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Thousands of revelers packed Pamplona's town square on Sunday to watch the launch of the tradition 'El Chupinazo' rocket, which signals the start of the annual bull-running festival. Formally known as the San Fermin festival which lasts for nine days, it traditionally sees thrill seeking tourists run down historic streets chased by bulls, ahead of a bloody bullfight. Wearing white t-shirts and trousers stained with red wine - tourists and locals gathered into the city center holding up red handkerchiefs. The fiesta was officially opened by Red Cross President in Pamplona, Mikel Martinez who launched the firecracker that opens the event. The first run will take place on Monday. During the runs, held each morning at 8am, thousands of people run ahead of six bulls along an 800-meter or 875-yard route from a corral to the city bull ring. Held since 1591, "Los San Fermines", attracts thousands of tourists from across Europe and as far as Australia and the United States. "San Fermines" is considered Spain's most famous festival and was popularized internationally by Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises."