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Spain's running of the bulls: Firecracker kicks off fiesta

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/6/2017
People celebrate during the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2017 San Fermin Fiestas, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Thursday, July 6, 2017. Revelers from around the world kick off the festival with a messy party in the Pamplona town square, one day before the first of eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) © The Associated Press People celebrate during the launch of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2017 San Fermin Fiestas, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Thursday, July 6, 2017. Revelers from around the world kick off the festival with a messy party in the Pamplona town square, one day before the first of eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

PAMPLONA, Spain (AP) — Officials in Spain have launched the traditional firework rocket known as the "Chupinazo" to kick off Pamplona's famed San Fermin running of the bulls festival.

Revellers hold up their arms during the launching of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2017 San Fermin Fiestas in Pamplona, Spain, Thursday July 6, 2017. The first of eight days of the running of the bulls along the streets of the old quarter of Pamplona starts Friday. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) © The Associated Press Revellers hold up their arms during the launching of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2017 San Fermin Fiestas in Pamplona, Spain, Thursday July 6, 2017. The first of eight days of the running of the bulls along the streets of the old quarter of Pamplona starts Friday. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

The firework was launched from Pamplona's town hall balcony at noon Thursday to the delight of thousands of people packed into the square below.

Revellers party during the launching of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2017 San Fermin Fiestas in Pamplona, Spain, Thursday July 6, 2017. The first of eight days of the running of the bulls along the streets of the old quarter of Pamplona starts Friday. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) © The Associated Press Revellers party during the launching of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2017 San Fermin Fiestas in Pamplona, Spain, Thursday July 6, 2017. The first of eight days of the running of the bulls along the streets of the old quarter of Pamplona starts Friday. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

The crowds— most dressed in festival's typical white clothes and red neck scarf — immediately erupted ecstatically, screaming "Viva San Fermin!" and spraying each other with wine.

A reveller squirts wine into his mouth during the launching of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2017 San Fermin Fiestas in Pamplona, Spain, Thursday July 6, 2017. The first of eight days of the running of the bulls along the streets of the old quarter of Pamplona starts Friday. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) © The Associated Press A reveller squirts wine into his mouth during the launching of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2017 San Fermin Fiestas in Pamplona, Spain, Thursday July 6, 2017. The first of eight days of the running of the bulls along the streets of the old quarter of Pamplona starts Friday. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

The nine-day, street-partying fiesta was immortalized in Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises."

Revellers party during the launching of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2017 San Fermin Fiestas in Pamplona, Spain, Thursday July 6, 2017. The first of eight days of the running of the bulls along the streets of the old quarter of Pamplona starts Friday. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) © The Associated Press Revellers party during the launching of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2017 San Fermin Fiestas in Pamplona, Spain, Thursday July 6, 2017. The first of eight days of the running of the bulls along the streets of the old quarter of Pamplona starts Friday. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

The "Chupinazo" comes a day before the first of eight morning bull runs, in which daredevils race with fighting bulls along a 930-yard (850-meter) street course to the bullring.

Revellers party during the launching of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2017 San Fermin Fiestas in Pamplona, Spain, Thursday July 6, 2017. The first of eight days of the running of the bulls along the streets of the old quarter of Pamplona starts Friday. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Revellers party during the launching of the 'Chupinazo' rocket, to celebrate the official opening of the 2017 San Fermin Fiestas in Pamplona, Spain, Thursday July 6, 2017. The first of eight days of the running of the bulls along the streets of the old quarter of Pamplona starts Friday. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
© The Associated Press
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