THE traditional firework  ‘Chupinazo’ has kicked off Pamplona’s famed San Fermin running of the bulls festival today.

The rocekt was launched from the town hall balcony at noon above thousands of people packed into the square below.

The crowd, dressed mostly in the typical white clothes and red neck scarves — erupted with screams of ‘Viva San Fermin!’ before spraying each other with wine.

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

Tomorrow will see the first of eight morning bull runs, in which locals and tourists will test their speed and bravery by racing with fighting bulls along a 850 metre street course to the bullring.

Twelve people, including four Americans, were gored in last year’s San Fermin runs.