What to wear during Fiesta!
The Traditional Costume
The official dress, for everything that happens during the Fiesta de San Fermín, is the traditional costume of white and red, blanco y rojo, a white shirt and pants, red pañuelico (bandana) and red faja (sash). The "official costume, which is also worn by Pelota players in Navarra and the Basque country, and by celebrants during the festival in Bayonne, "Fêtes de Bayonne". can be purchased at any of the clothing stores you'll find around Pamplona, including Spain's leading department store, El Corte Inglés. Or you can bring your own pants and shirts from home, but pack an extra pair, as hotel laundry service is limited on the 6th, the opening day of the festival, and the 7th, an official bank holiday in Navarra.
The red pañuelico, donned at noon on the 6th of July following the firing of the rocket, the 'chupinazo', in the town hall square, is not put away until midnight of the 14th, following the candlelight ceremony, the 'pobre de mi' (poor is me). But it is recommended that if you are planning on running not to wear the pañuelico around your neck, as it might get tangled up on a bulls horn as he passes. The same is true of the faja. It should not be worn loose, but wrapped tightly around your waist, or removed altogether during the encierro.
Peña Seattle de Sanfermines provides our clients with its own official pañuelico. The faja can be purchased from one of the many street vendors you'll find in and around the old quarter. Dressing in San Fermín attire will allow you to integrate smoothly with the crowd and quickly get into the spirit of the fiesta.
Besides going well with white, it is said that the red pañuelico has a religious origin and was selected to honor Pamplona's patron saint, San Fermín, red being the color priests wear to honor a martyr who died for his beliefs.
It is also important that you bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking day and night and a good pair of shoes are important, and as good a job as the city does in cleaning the streets each day, you will inevitably encounter some broken glass along the way, especially following the opening ceremony and during the early hours of the 7th. And please, no sandals!