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Peñas at San Fermín in Pamplona, Spain

The fiesta de San Fermín is a world-renowned festival held annually in the city of Pamplona, Spain. While many people know the festival for its famous "Running of the Bulls," it is also a time when peñas, or social clubs, play an important role in the festivities. In this blog post, we will explore the history of peñas in the fiesta de San Fermín.

Peñas have been a part of the fiesta de San Fermín for more than a century. The first peña was founded in 1903 by a group of young men who wanted to have a place to gather and celebrate during the festival. They named their group La Única, and it quickly became popular among the city's youth.

In the years that followed, more and more peñas were founded. These social clubs were often based around a particular neighborhood, school, or profession. Members would come together to plan events, organize parades, and celebrate the fiesta de San Fermín together. Some peñas are more traditional, while others are more modern and progressive. However, they all share a common goal: to celebrate the fiesta de San Fermín and promote camaraderie among its members.

The role of peñas in the fiesta de San Fermín has evolved over time. While they were once exclusively male organizations, many peñas now welcome women as members. Some peñas have also taken on a more social justice-oriented approach, using their collective power to advocate for issues like LGBTQ rights and environmentalism.

Despite these changes, the spirit of camaraderie and celebration that defines peñas remains strong. For many people, joining a peña is a way to connect with their community and participate in the rich cultural traditions of Pamplona. Whether through parades, parties, or social activism, peñas continue to be an integral part of the fiesta de San Fermín and the city's cultural identity.

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