The number of inhabitants of Medina del Campo starts increasing a couple of days before the beginning of the celebrations of San Antolín. But as the time of the encierro approaches, everything changes: as people have stayed up all night or wake up at the crack of dawn, the party can start.
The reveille is sounded to wake up the crowd. Then, right after the chocolate and the churros, the eau-de-vie or the garlic soup, the people go to take part in the encierro. Elderly people and kids look for the right place to be to watch it; some are getting prepared for the run in the streets or behind the fence and others, by foot or by horse, are waiting for the bulls in the fields, creating a patchwork of colours and smells, mixing the colours of the shirts of the participants to the lances of the horsemen and the clods to the stubbles.
Meanwhile, in a bullpen, six bulls and as many steers are waiting, tinkling the bells they wear around their necks, until the detonation of the rockets announces their release. At exactly 9 o'clock, once the three rockets have been shot, the doors of the pen open and the cattle are released.
The encierro has begun; from now on, who knows what will happen? The herd may get out quickly and one by one as well as it may go slowly and rounded up. But one thing is for sure: it will always go surrounded by all these people who attempt to run in front or alongside of it. The fear disappears; the risk increases. In the fields or in the streets, by foot or horse, they are likely to be hit by the bulls, anytime. But what they feel in this moment is stronger. Time is going by; the uncertainty and the emotion of the people waiting in the streets is increasing. They are waiting for the bell ring that will tell them if the bulls have escaped or if they are coming with the horsemen. The Collegiate Church and the Castle of the Mota stand as exceptional witnesses. Indeed, you can see all the run from the top of these buildings. And yet the herd becomes divided. A huge cloud of dust indicates what is happening: almost there! The encierro is about to get in the streets of Medina. There we are: ten, twenty, thirty thousand people have come to see one of the most fascinating shows that are the encierros of Medina del Campo. The horsemen have excited the bulls with their lances. The animals are running at top speed to the streets of the town where the crowd is expecting them. When they get there, the people run with them, shouting Ay! Ay! Often, the fear causes the stiffening of the legs but some courageous kids run alongside of the bulls in the streets of Medina to reach the bullring.
Fortunately, No victim has been reported yet except for the traditional jostling, fall or minor trampling.
After having been kicked or hit in any way, the best thing to do is to go for a drink! Then, after breakfast and a glass of wine or lemonade, the celebration goes on. And tomorrow or the day after, there will be other runs; uncertainties will come back, people will come again, a crowd larger than ever as those who have not seen the traditional and typical bull runs of Medina del Campo yet would have had time to get ready and to come. And they will be warmly welcomed to take part in an incredible show: THE TRADITIONAL AND TYPICAL ENCIERROS OF MEDINA DEL CAMPO.
From the description and data of Domingo Nieto Sainz
"Tradicionales y Típicos Encierros".
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