Thursday, May 19, 2011

We're not in Pamplona any more!

Much of the world became aware of the practice of running the bulls in Ernest Hemingway's novel The Sun Also Rises. Although the practice takes place in multiple cities and countries, the most famous is the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain, where people line the streets to watch as young men run ahead of the bulls to show their bravery.

Here in Rugby, there are no young men eager to demonstrate their bravery. We are more mature, but still have our traditions. Sometimes they even attract a spectator or two. One such is the bi-annual walking (I said we were more mature) of the tent. Each spring my neighbor John sets up a large tent on the lawn of Christ Church-Episcopal for use during Historic Rugby, Inc.'s Festival of British and Appalachian Culture. Since the tent isn't easily set up and taken down, John rounds up some men and walks the tent the nearly half mile to his house to use at his annual Independence Day picnic.
Today, we had six men who carried one of the four corners in relays.
The tent is now home, where it will remain until making the return trip to the church yard in time for this year's Michaelmas festival, which is scheduled for Saturday, October 1. After that it will be taken down and stored for the winter.
On second thought, maybe this is more like the annual migrations of the Monarch butterfly than the running of the bulls.

(Photograph of running the bulls by Baltasar Garcia, used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)

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