10 Things to Know About Bullfighting in Spain

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bullfeature Pedro Lopez
Source: Pedro Lopez

Bullfighting is a traditional event or form of sport in Spain, Portugal, some parts of Southern France and some Latin American countries. It is very popular in Spain. If you are planning to visit Spain, you might want to see one of the events.

1. Bullfighting in Spanish is Corrida te Toros

1 Arild Andersen
Source: Arild Andersen

It is also known as Tauromachia or Tauromachy. It a form of event where a person will have to kill a bull by putting a sword through its heart in front of applauding audience cheering for the bravery of that person. The goal is to make the bull furious and kill it. It is a form of art as well.

2. In Spain, it is not a sport, it is a cultural event

2 Arild Andersen
Source: Arild Andersen

Bullfighting is a very important cultural event in Spain, it is not considered as a sport. It is deeply tied to the Hispanic culture and identity. For the people in Spain, bullfighting is not a competition or does not have any element of competition but rather a highly ritualized event. That is why the bull is sacrificed through a sword in the heart.

3. The person who actually kills the bull is called a matador

3 Arild Andersen
Source: Arild Andersen

In today’s bullfighting, the matadors are professionally trained to kill the bull. They know exactly what to do and the safety guidelines as well, unlike the old times. It is believed that the movement or the act of the matador while in the process of killing the bull is a form of an art and emotional connection to the audience through the bull.

4. The process of killing the bull is called Estocada

4 Arild Andersen
Source: Arild Andersen

This process involves killing the bull by a sword thrust directly through his heart. You might be wondering if this is legal,Yes, it is legal because it is already a part of tradition and culture in Spain. It has been around for thousands of years.

5. The bulls life can sometimes be spared

5 Sean Fornelli
Source: Sean Fornelli

If the bull shows an act of bravery and is not dead yet. The president of the event might consider sparing the life of the bull by taking it outside the ring and letting a veterinary doctor to cure it. Once, the bull is cured,  they will then go back to the farm and live a healthy life.

6. Each matador has six assistants

Source: Joseph McCarron 

A bull is a very big animal, one person absolutely cannot kill the bull by itself unless it has a gun so during the bullfighting the matador has six assistants. Two of them are lancers or picadores. They are mounted on a horseback in which the horses have armors. There are also three flagmen or banderilleros and one sword servant or moze de espada.

7.  Tercio de Varas is the first stage of the fight

7 Sean Fornelli
Source: Sean Fornelli

In this stage, the matador will be observing the bull for unusual actions, eye problems, blindness, deafness or so and then the two picadores or lancers will then enter the arena and one of the picador will stab the muscle in the bulls neck. The bull then losts blood and will become weak. The bull must be weak by this time to continue to the next stage.

8. Tercio de Banderillas is the second stage of the bullfight

8 Eric Titcombe
Source: Eric Titcombe

The three banderillos or flagmen will then plant two barbed sticks in the bull’s shoulder to make it weak and do ferocious charges. The matador then enters the arena with a red cape and a sword in its other hand, running in circles to make the bull tired and weak especially for the excess blood loss that just happened.

9. Tercio de Muerte is the third stage of the bullfight

9 Craig Howell
Source: Craig Howell

In this stage, the matador enters the ring alone with a red cape and a sword on its other hand. The matador then kills the bull by stabbing the sword through its heart. For your information, the bull is color blind, it is not attracted to color red since it cannot recognize it. The purpose why the cape is red is to hide the blood stains on the cape.

10. The matador needs to kill the bull in 15 minutes after muleta

bullfeature Pedro Lopez
Source: Mark Mitchell

The bull sometimes takes time to die after the matador stabs it. If there is still 10 minutes left and the bull is alive, the president will order aviso or a trumpet sound and will do it again if 3 minutes left and the bull is still alive. After 15 minutes if the bull is still alive the president will order the workers to move the bull outside the ring to kill it.

If you are planning to visit Spain and is interested in all these facts then don’t forget to watch one.

Have a good trip and travel!

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Europe, Spain