The procession of the saint took place without any incidents of note and the newly-elected mayor, Joseba Asiron, was cheered and applauded along the route.
The procession in honor of St. Fermín was refreshingly uneventful. For the first time in over a decade, there were no jeering, nor insults, nor pushing and shoving as the city hall councillors made their way up Curia Street on their way to the cathedral. The procession was a happy one for the recently-elected mayor Joseba Asiron (EH BIldu) who was applauded and acclaimed by the public and he, smiling and cheerful, wave an exuberant greeting and indeed even stopped to embrace some of the watching crowd.
The contentious point of many of the previous processions in these past years in Curia Street today passed without incident. In spite of the large crowd gathered to watch the procession, the retinue of personalities paraded in a normal fashion amid the applause of the public, with some voices chanting a goodbye to the previous political party in power up to this year “Agur UPN agur, agur” while some other people acclaimed the new mayor by chanting his name “Asirón, Asirón”.
After performing 37 years, the jota Singer, Alfonso Royo, will pass the torch to Iñaki Reta to become the masculine voice for the jota song “Ofrenda a San Fermín,” composed by Joaquín Madurga. Ana Patús will continue to provide the female voice, but it will be strange for her, as she will longer be accompanied in the duo by Alfonso Royo, who formed part of this musical duo ever since the inception of this annual procession song in praise of San Fermin on the 7th of the 7th of 1977- when he first sang the lyrics of Madurga. You can hear him singing here.
The next San Fermin procession this coming 7th of July, will see the 38th consecutive performance of the song as we have heard it year after year. The origin of this annual event and which is now such an emotional part of the procession for the public, goes back to the year 1975. That year, Joaquín Madurga and the Santiago de la Txantrea choir were invited to perform at the children’s traditional offering to San Fermín. Madurga composed this original piece which we now know as “Ofrenda a San Fermín” and he used a duo of jota singers to perform the piece. On that first occasion, Madurga had the backing of the Santiago choir and the duo who sang was made up of his sister Nieves Madurga and Migueltxo Ganuza.
That first performance went down very well with the general public and Madurga and his people began to consider the possibility of singing to the saint every year at the same point along the route of the procession at the Plaza del Consejo. This was an open-air space and a point where there were not too many people gathered. On the 7th of July, 1977 the first performance took place here in what is now a traditional “spontaneous” performance of the “Ofrenda a San Fermín” piece which Joaquín Madurga had first written two years earlier for the children’s offering to the saint. The two performers chosen were Nieves Madurga and Alfonso Royo under the direction of Madurga himself. Later on, the conductor of the choir was assumed by Migueltxo Ganuza and the female voice was taken on by Ana Patús.
«Ofrenda a San Fermín» (Joaquín Madurga)
Glorioso San Fermín, venimos a cantarte mayores y chavales con un igual sentir. (bis) Unimos nuestras voces en un común cantar, que sea el homenaje de nuestro amor filial. Alegres cantad al santo sin par, con notas de alegría. ¡Excelso patrón, escucha esta voz y danos tu bendición! Al glorioso San Fermín cantamos así:
Es la jota de tu Navarra la que hoy te reza, la que hoy te canta. Es la jota de tu Navarra Fermín bendito, la que hoy te ensalza. Es la jota de tu Navarra la que hoy te reza, la que hoy te canta. Con la jota de tu Navarra, va la oración del pueblo que te ama. Es la jota de tu Navarra la que hoy te reza, la que hoy te canta.
Con aires de jota por san Fermín, con tragos de bota por San Fermín. Con gaitas, con txistus y tamboril, el pueblo celebra su san Fermín. Con aires de jota por san Fermín, con gaitas, con txistus y tamboril, El pueblo en alegre cantar, al santo paisano quiere celebrar. La la la…
Al glorioso San Fermín, cantamos así: Pamplona, Navarra, la tierra te canta. San Fermín en tu pañuelo se anuda gente del mundo entero. Pamplona, Navarra, la tierra te canta. Son tus fiestas arco iris, con los colores del universo. Pamplona, Navarra, la tierra te canta.
This morning the San Fermin procession took place. A short while before the procession came to an end, just after midday, there were some moments of tension when a group of people gathered at the corner of Curia Street began to jeer and heckle the Municipal authorities. The narrow passage left by the crowd to allow the procession to pass caused some moments of tension between the municipal police who were protecting the procession and its members. After some short moments of pushing and shoving, the procession was able to continue its way to the cathedral, amid a mixture of shouting and applauding from among the public. No further incidents took place.
The Mayor of Pamplona, Enrique Maya, has held a press conference this morning in order to make an evaluation of the 2013 Sanfermin fiestas. With regard to the negative aspects, he underlined that those responsible for the Boycott of the Txupinazowill be tracked down. A study will also be made on how to solve the problem of the insults and “lack of personal and institutional respect and dignity that is suffered by the corporation and church council of canons in the Sanfermin Procession at Curia Street, which goes beyond the freedom of expression and opinions” and that different aspects of the running of the bulls event will be examined in an attempt to improve the question of safety.
With regard to the positive aspects of the fiestas, the mayor of Pamplona underlined the warm weather and the festive atmosphere. He also stated that the new parking restrictions had proved to be a success. In this respect, Pamplona City Hall made an income of 351, 903 euros and had 165.286 users.
Among the macro figures that might be underlined from this year’s fiestas are the number of runners who took part in this year’s runnings of the bulls – a total of 17.813 runners in 2013; The total of 1.590.076 people who participated in the official program events and the fact that 972.280 kilos of garbage in total was collected over the eight days. From these high figures it has to be said that the running of the bulls registered a drop of 13, 82% runners compared to last year. The largest attraction of all, as far as numbers go, was the nightly Fireworks displays with a total of 462.000 people attending them. The musical venue of the Plaza de los Fueros was consolidated with an increase of 24% in the attendance. To find a breakdown of the figures, download the Press handout here.
The traditional procession in honor of Sanfermin took place throughout the morning with a large jam-packed public lining the streets. On a very hot day, there were’nt any mishaps of consideration, except perhaps on the return procession through the streets of Mercaderes and Curia, where there are traditionally some onlookers who boo the municipal authorities and where there is some shoving and pushing on the part of the crowd and the municipal police. The rest of the route was covered without incident..