1. ITV Report

Revellers kick off bull running festivities in Spain

Revellers hold up their red scarves at the start of the festival. Photo: Reuters

The 2012 San Fermin Festival kicked off in Pamplona in Spain on Friday with thousands of revellers from around the world taking to the streets ahead of the famous bull run.

People packed the town's square and were sprayed with water after the Chupinazo, the official opening of the festival.

The festival is a symbol of Spanish culture – despite heavy condemnation from animal-rights groups – and attracts thousands of tourists to watch the bull runs.

Most were dressed in traditional red and white, ahead of the annual running of the bulls, which begins today.

The Basque Country flag is held up by visitors to the San Fermin festival. Credit: Reuters

The bull running festivities will run for eight days until July 14.

Due to Spain's current economical climate, this year's festivities have been reduced due to spending cuts across the nation.

Revellers on the town hall balcony. Credit: Reuters