Back in the Fall our neighbors, Morgan and Guillaume, told us about the running of the bulls in our little village of Sanilhac. They told us it would be in May and it was really fun and something we did not want to miss. They took us to the bull ranch one afternoon so we could see all the bulls. They have about 20-30 head. We were anxious to see this event but we had not seen any advertisement as we approached the month of May. The children all had friday, May 1st off from school. I had noticed that stores were advertising they would be closed on May 1st and we were not quite sure what the holiday was. Until, Aaron and I returned from Paris with my girlfriend, Jenn and her husband John, the night before May 1st. When we were driving back home from the train station I noticed gates were being set up in certain places in Sanilhac. A light bulb went on and I knew “this” holiday was somehow associated with the bull run. Sure enough, Aaron inquired at the Boulangerie about 30 minutes before the events were to start. The running of the bulls began at 11am and then activities were happening throughout the weekend. May 1st is Labor Day in France. Everything was closed! (We had to buy some eggs from the baker because all the grocery stores were closed.)
We all quickly got ourselves ready and we went down to the centre ville. There was a lot of excitement. People were lining along the barriers and some were, also, just walking in the middle of the roads. I was a little perplexed by this. I had envisioned bulls being herded through the streets of our cute little village and was a little concerned for those just casually walking around in the streets. Jenn and I had to run through a field of waist high weeds so we could reach the boys as they were watching from the side of the road. Right as we got to the road the parade started. I say parade loosely because it was nothing like a US parade. It was just a line of trucks and cars. 3 trucks started this parade and then we see horses all packed together tightly. A few horses were getting a little “wild” and their riders had to reign them in to get control. Within seconds, this pack of horses went right by. We would have totally missed seeing the bulls if we had not been on this little overlook of the road. There were 3 bulls sandwiched in between the horses. This was the running of the bulls. What? Did we miss something? This was fun? We all broke out in hysterics because of the stupidity of this event! I didn’t even have time to take a picture of the 3 bulls that were hidden. We laughed so hard!!!!
If you look at the above photo you can see the hilarity of the moment. There is the parade of horses with 3 bulls in the middle, an old french man on his bicycle, young men running with the parade in their typical french sweatsuits, two kids on a four wheeler right behind the horses… Not shown are the rest of the residents of Sanilhac driving their cars/trucks in this parade. We all looked at each other and asked, “was that it?” Maybe this is one of those moments where you had to be there to appreciate the humor!
After this running of the bulls, all the spectators started making their way to the center square for drinks, fair-type games for the kids, food and music. As we were walking we came across a few of the injured horses that had obviously been hurt by the bulls horns.
The kids enjoyed the few games they had set up. John gave the boys a little money so they could shoot for a prize. It was funny! We all had some great laughs that day!!!