This coming weekend the fiesta popularly known as Sanfermin Txikito or Sanfermin Chiquito (‘The Small one’) will be celebrated. As the name would indicate, this fiesta is held in honor of San Fermín, but in a smaller way than the big fiestas held in July in his honor. Perhaps also considered ‘small’ because there is no running of the bulls (there used to be up to 1993) but the fiestas are ‘Big’ as far as partying and celebrating goes, especially around the old quarter of the city and not all over the rest of Pamplona. And there are historical reasons for this as both the religious fiestas and the municipal and popular ones are circumscribed only within the historical part of the city. As with everything related to Sanfermin there is clearly just one fiesta, but within the ambience of fiesta there are various approaches taken by different agents.
For a start, there are two religious celebrations. On the one hand, this coming 25th of September the parish church of San Lorenzo will celebrate the martyrdom of St. Fermín. The chapel within this church hosts a service of nine days a religious service which remembers and honors his martyrdom. The 25th of September is a Wednesday this year and this is the day marked by the holy church to remember this event. This celebration is presided by Juan Antonio Aznárez, auxiliary bishop of the local diocese along with the choir of San Lorenzo. On the other hand, on Sunday 29th at 11.30, in the Basilica of San Fermín de Aldapa, there will be a religious function held and the image of the saint which lies in this church will be taken out and paraded through the streets as is done each year. The Giants and their entourage – the Comparsa de Gigantes y Cabezudos – will accompany the image of the saint through the streets of the old quarter in company with the brass band, La Pamplonesa brass band, as well as the folk dancers, dantzaris de Duguna and of course the large crowds of people who always attend this event.
The religious fiesta is celebrated hand-in-hand with the popular lay program of fiestas. Pamplona City Hall issues a program of events and there is another non-official list of events held by neighborhood groups within the old quarter of Pamplona. This non-official program is backed by several different associations grouped under the umbrella of the commission – Comisión de Fiestas del Casco viejo and their program is outlined at web page of Auzoenea. You can also download it here. Between the official city hall program and the non-official one there are sometimes some conflicts created as regards permissions and times and places for holding events. The non-official groups have a twitter blog created this year – the hastag #SFtxikitonEreBai and a web page at sanfermintxikito.wordpress.com where some popular people from the neighborhood express their point of view and support their program. Meanwhile, Pamplona City Hall forms its own program which includes the parades of the Giants and their entourage – the Comparsa de Gigantes y Cabezudos of Sanfermin. In addition, they allow many establishments to remain open later and they adopt special street-cleaning safety measures.
And as there are no one single program to be followed, some of the city’s discothèques also make special shows and offers for Sanfermin Txikito, such as the Sala Totem, Txuribeltz, the local folk dancers or the air open concer with The Coronas and the M.O.D.A. band at 23.00 on saturday night in the Burgos square.