Despair as running of the bulls suspended again

The week-long festival, which kicks off with its first bull-run on July 7 every year, draws thrill-seekers from all over the world who arrive to run with fighting bulls through the narrow streets, while hundreds of others pack the squares to party during what is originally a religious festival to honour San Fermin, the patron saint of Pamplona.

With no bulls in sight and going through the motions of honouring the town's patron saint at the starting line of the bull-run course as he does every year, Antonio Manzanera, said he felt "enormous sadness" over the suspension of the festival.

Teo Lazaro Armendariz, another runner, said authorities could have allowed a smaller scale celebration.

As well as the morning bull-runs and afternoon bullfights, it features round-the-clock singing, dancing and drinking by revellers dressed in white clothes and red neck-scarves. There are also religious events in honour of the saint.

Last year's cancellation was the first in over four decades and was a big financial blow to Pamplona's bars, restaurants and hotels.

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