It's also extremely bizarre, verging on the surreal, to see all these people running from a giant ball painted to look like a bull.

Mataelpino, a small town of 1,700 outside Madrid, became the first place in Spain to hold a "running of the balls" rather than a "running of the bulls." It's a not-so-obvious solution to the increasingly controversial practice of bull running. The new version, which sees residents fleeing from 275-pound polystyrene balls, was even given a new portmanteau name: boloencierro. The new word combines the Spanish words for bowling ball and running of the bulls.


It seems that novelty has been a winner for Mataelpino, as the town saw a rise in tourism coinciding with the first boloencierro. Traditions change all the time. They adapt to being brought to new places with different resources. Traditional foods get this a lot. For example, the German tradition is to open gifts on Christmas Eve. Others open them on Christmas Day or even on January 6.

So here, we have a town choosing to run from giant balls rather than animals. Which, honestly, is so much less terrifying than the original, that I'd much rather do it.

[The Local via QI]