Bullfighting


Bullfighting, also know as tauromachy, is a popular "art" in Spain, Portugal, and a few other places like Southern France and Latin America. It began around 1726 and still is very popular today. Although no one is really sure where it came from, it has spread throughout the world. When bullfighting first started it had around five different styles, over time they all came into the one, classic style where they kill the bull.

When the Moors took over Spain, they also changed some things in bullfighting. They brought in aspects such as: riding a horse and killing the bull. Bullfighters used to be on highly-trained horses while fighting the bulls, however, today they are on their feet. Francisco Romero introduced the sword and the light-weight cape that are used in bullfighting today.

To Spaniards, bullfighting is theatrical entertainment, except it involves bulls. Bullfights consist of a male or a female matador confronting a bull, while at the same time performing an acrobatic art form. This sport must take lots of courage because you have to share the small space with a crazed bull who wants to hit you with its horns. All the matador has is just his/ her cape that they wave at the bull. It’s up to them to jump out of the way when there are just seconds left till the bull hits them.

Some call bullfighting and art, others don't agree at all. Bullfighting is often called "The Blood Sport" because of how gruesome it is. During the fight, the matador (or “player”) takes a red cape, or capote, and teases the bull until it charges. As the bull gets closer and closer to the matador, the matador steps away at a moment's notice. This is repeated over and over again. Many people think that when the matador waves the red flag, the bull charges toward it because of the color, but in reality bulls are colorblind and run toward it because it's waving.

At the end of every bullfight (the matador almost always wins), the matador takes his sword and stabs the bull one last time. That is the end of the fight. Others consider bullfighting to be playing with your food or a dinner with a show. Many who either fight or watch the fight say it is not a sport, but an art or a ritual. The ritual is judged by the spectators and performed by the bull and the matador together. Still, bullfighting is a part of Spanish and European culture.