Bullfighting
Overview
 

Bullfighting is a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, southern France and some Latin American countries (Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador), in which one or more bull
Bull
Bull usually refers to an uncastrated adult male bovine.Bull may also refer to:-Entertainment:* Bull , an original show on the TNT Network* "Bull" , an episode of television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation...

s are baited in a bullring
Bullring
A bullring is an arena where bullfighting is performed. Bullrings are often associated with Spain, but they can also be found in neighboring countries and the New World...

 for sport and entertainment. It is often called a blood sport by its detractors but followers of the spectacle regard it as a fine art and not a sport as there are no elements of competition in the proceedings.
Encyclopedia

Bullfighting is a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, southern France and some Latin American countries (Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador), in which one or more bull
Bull
Bull usually refers to an uncastrated adult male bovine.Bull may also refer to:-Entertainment:* Bull , an original show on the TNT Network* "Bull" , an episode of television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation...

s are baited in a bullring
Bullring
A bullring is an arena where bullfighting is performed. Bullrings are often associated with Spain, but they can also be found in neighboring countries and the New World...

 for sport and entertainment. It is often called a blood sport by its detractors but followers of the spectacle regard it as a fine art and not a sport as there are no elements of competition in the proceedings. In Portugal it is illegal to kill a bull in the arena, so it is removed and slaughtered in the pens as fighting bulls can only be used once. A non-lethal variant stemming from Portuguese influence is also practised on the Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

n island of Pemba.

The tradition, as it is practised today, involves professional toreros (also called toreadors) who execute various formal moves which can be interpreted and innovated according to the bullfighter's style or school. Toreros seek to elicit inspiration and art from their work and an emotional connection with the crowd transmitted through the bull. Such manoeuvres are performed at close range, which places the bullfighter at risk of being gored or trampled. After the bull has been hooked multiple times behind the shoulder by other matadors in the arena the bullfight usually concludes with the killing of the bull by a single sword thrust which is called estocada. In Portugal the finale consists of a tradition called the pega, where men (forcados) try to grab and hold the bull by its horns when it runs at them.

Supporters of bullfighting argue that it is a culturally important tradition and a fully developed art form on par with painting, dancing and music, while animal rights
Animal rights
Animal rights, also known as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings...

 advocates hold that it is a blood sport
Blood sport
Bloodsport or blood sport is any sport or entertainment that involves violence against animals.Bloodsport includes coursing or beagling, combat sports such as cockfighting and dog fighting, or other activities...

 resulting in the suffering of bulls and horses.

There are many historic fighting venues
Bullring
A bullring is an arena where bullfighting is performed. Bullrings are often associated with Spain, but they can also be found in neighboring countries and the New World...

 in the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

, France and Latin America. The largest venue of its kind is the Plaza México
Plaza México
The Plaza México, situated in Mexico City, is the world's largest bullring. This 48,000-seat facility is usually dedicated to bullfighting, but many boxing fights have been held there as well, including Julio César Chávez's third bout with Frankie Randall...

 in central Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

, which seats 48,000 people, and the oldest is the La Maestranza
Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla
The Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla is the oldest bullring in Spain. It is the site of the annual Feria de Abril in Seville, one of the most well-known bullfighting festivals in the world....

 in Sevilla, Spain, which was first used for bullfighting in 1765.

History

Bullfighting traces its roots to prehistoric bull worship and sacrifice
Animal sacrifice
Animal sacrifice is the ritual killing of an animal as part of a religion. It is practised by many religions as a means of appeasing a god or gods or changing the course of nature...

. The killing of the sacred bull (tauroctony
Tauroctony
The tauroctony scene is the cult relief of the Mithraic Mysteries. It depicts Mithras killing a bull, hence the name 'tauroctony', given to the scene in modern times possibly after the Greek ταυροκτόνος "slaughtering bulls", which derives from ταῦρος "bull" + κτόνος "murder", from κτείνω , "I...

) is the essential central iconic act of Mithras, which was commemorated in the mithraeum
Mithraeum
A Mithraeum is a place of worship for the followers of the mystery religion of Mithraism.The Mithraeum was either an adapted natural cave or cavern or an artificial building imitating a cavern. Mithraea were dark and windowless, even if they were not actually in a subterranean space or in a natural...

 wherever Roman soldiers were stationed. The oldest representation of what seems to be a man facing a bull is on the celtiberian
Celtiberians
The Celtiberians were Celtic-speaking people of the Iberian Peninsula in the final centuries BC. The group used the Celtic Celtiberian language.Archaeologically, the Celtiberians participated in the Hallstatt culture in what is now north-central Spain...

 tombstone from Clunia
Clunia
Clunia was an ancient Roman city. Its remains are located on Alto de Castro, at more than 1000 metres above sea level, between the villages of Peñalba de Castro and Coruña del Conde, 2 km away from the latter, in the province of Burgos in Spain...

 and the cave painting
Cave painting
Cave paintings are paintings on cave walls and ceilings, and the term is used especially for those dating to prehistoric times. The earliest European cave paintings date to the Aurignacian, some 32,000 years ago. The purpose of the paleolithic cave paintings is not known...

 "El toro de hachos", both found in Spain.

Bullfighting is often linked to Rome
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, where many human-versus-animal events were held. There are also theories that it was introduced into Hispania by the Emperor Claudius
Claudius
Claudius , was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul and was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy...

, as a substitute for gladiator
Gladiator
A gladiator was an armed combatant who entertained audiences in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire in violent confrontations with other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals. Some gladiators were volunteers who risked their legal and social standing and their lives by appearing in the...

s, when he instituted a short-lived ban on gladiatorial combat. The latter theory was supported by Robert Graves
Robert Graves
Robert von Ranke Graves 24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985 was an English poet, translator and novelist. During his long life he produced more than 140 works...

. (Picador
Picador
A picador is one of the pair of horsemen in a Spanish bullfight that jab the bull with a lance. They perform in the tercio de varas which is the first of the three stages in a Spanish bullfight.The picador has three main functions:...

s are the remnants of the javelin
Javelin
A Javelin is a light spear intended for throwing. It is commonly known from the modern athletic discipline, the Javelin throw.Javelin may also refer to:-Aviation:* ATG Javelin, an American-Israeli civil jet aircraft, under development...

, but their role in the contest is now a relatively minor one limited to "preparing" the bull for the matador.) Bullfighting spread from Spain to its Central and South American colonies, and in the 19th century to France, where it developed into a distinctive form in its own right.
Religious festivities and royal weddings were celebrated by fights in the local plaza, where noblemen would ride competing for royal favor, and the populace enjoyed the excitement.
The Spanish introduced the practice of fighting on foot around 1726. Francisco Romero
Francisco Romero (matador)
Francisco Romero was a significant Spanish matador. He reputedly introduced the famous red cape into bullfighting in around 1726....

 is generally regarded as having been the first to do this.

This type of fighting drew more attention from the crowds. Thus the modern corrida, or fight, began to take form, as riding noblemen were substituted by commoners on foot. This new style prompted the construction of dedicated bullrings, initially square, like the Plaza de Armas
Plaza de Armas
The Plaza de Armas is the name for the main square in many Latin American cities. In Mexico this space is known as El Zócalo, and in Central America as Parque Central...

, and later round, to discourage the cornering of the action.
The modern style of Spanish bullfighting is credited to Juan Belmonte
Juan Belmonte
Juan Belmonte García was a Spanish bullfighter, considered by many to have been the greatest matador of all time.-Life:...

, generally considered the greatest matador of all time. Belmonte introduced a daring and revolutionary style, in which he stayed within a few inches of the bull throughout the fight. Although extremely dangerous (Belmonte himself was gored on many occasions), his style is still seen by most matadors as the ideal to be emulated.
Today, bullfighting remains similar to the way it was in 1726, when Francisco Romero, from Ronda, Spain, used the estoque, a sword, to kill the bull, and the muleta
Muleta
Muleta is the name of the stick that the red cloth hangs from in the final third of a bullfight. It is different from the cape used by the matador earlier in the fight ....

, a small cape used in the last stage of the fight.

Styles of bullfighting

Originally, there were at least five distinct regional styles of bullfighting practised in southwestern Europe: Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

, Aragon
Aragon
Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

Navarre
Navarre
Navarre , officially the Chartered Community of Navarre is an autonomous community in northern Spain, bordering the Basque Country, La Rioja, and Aragon in Spain and Aquitaine in France...

, Alentejo, Camargue
Camargue
The Camargue is the region located south of Arles, France, between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the Rhône River delta. The eastern arm is called the Grand Rhône; the western one is the Petit Rhône....

, Aquitaine
Aquitaine
Aquitaine , archaic Guyenne/Guienne , is one of the 27 regions of France, in the south-western part of metropolitan France, along the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range on the border with Spain. It comprises the 5 departments of Dordogne, :Lot et Garonne, :Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes...

. Over time, these have evolved more or less into standardized national forms mentioned below. The "classic" style of bullfight, in which the bull is killed, is the form practised in Spain and many Latin American countries.

Spanish-style bullfighting

Spanish-style bullfighting is called corrida de toros (literally "running of bulls") or la fiesta ("the festival"). In a traditional corrida, three matador
Matador
A torero or toureiro is a bullfighter and the main performer in bullfighting, practised in Spain, Colombia, Portugal, Mexico, France and various other countries influenced by Spanish culture. In Spanish, the word torero describes any of the performers who actively participate in the bullfight...

es
, each fight two bulls, each of which is between four and six years old and weighs no less than 460 kg (1,014 lb) Each matador has six assistants—two picador
Picador
A picador is one of the pair of horsemen in a Spanish bullfight that jab the bull with a lance. They perform in the tercio de varas which is the first of the three stages in a Spanish bullfight.The picador has three main functions:...

es
("lancers on horseback") mounted on horseback, three banderilleros – who along with the matadors are collectively known as toreros ("bullfighters") – and a mozo de espadas ("sword page"). Collectively they comprise a cuadrilla
Cuadrilla
Cuadrilla is a Spanish word for a small group of people.Specifically it can mean:* a group of friends. In Basque culture, the cuadrilla continues from youth to maturity...

("entourage"). The word "matador" is only used in English whereas in Spanish the more general "torero" is used and only when needed to distinguish the full title "matador de toros" is used.
The modern corrida is highly ritualized, with three distinct stages or tercios ("thirds"), the start of each being announced by a bugle sound. The participants first enter the arena in a parade, called the paseíllo, to salute the presiding dignitary, accompanied by band music. Torero costumes are inspired by 17th century Andalusian clothing, and matadores are easily distinguished by the gold of their traje de luces
Traje de luces
The traje de luces is the traditional clothing that Spanish bullfighters wear in the bullring. The term originates from the sequins and reflective threads of gold or silver...

("suit of lights") as opposed to the lesser banderilleros who are also called toreros de plata ("bullfighters of silver").
Next, the bull enters the ring to be tested for ferocity by the matador and banderilleros with the magenta and gold capote ("cape"). This is the first stage, the tercio de varas ("the lancing third"), and the matador first confronts the bull with the capote, performing a series of passes and observing the behavior and quirks of the bull.

Next, a picador enters the arena on horseback armed with a vara ("lance"). To protect the horse from the bull's horns, the horse is surrounded by a protective, padded covering called "peto". Prior to 1930, the horse did not wear any protection, and the bull would usually disembowel the horse during this stage. Until this change was instituted, the number of horses killed during a fight was higher than the number of bulls killed.

At this point, the picador stabs just behind the morrillo, a mound of muscle on the fighting bull's neck, weakening the neck muscles and leading to the animal's first loss of blood. The manner in which the bull charges the horse provides important clues to the matador about which side the bull favors. If the picador is successful, the bull will hold its head and horns slightly lower during the following stages of the fight. This ultimately enables the matador to perform the killing thrust later in the performance. The encounter with the picador often fundamentally changes the behaviour of a bull, distracted and unengaging bulls will become more focused and stay on a single target instead of charging at everything that moves.

In the next stage, the tercio de banderillas ("the third of banderillas"), the three banderilleros each attempt to plant two banderillas, sharp barbed sticks into the bull's shoulders. These anger and invigorate, but further weaken, the bull who has been tired by his attacks on the horse and the damage he has taken from the lance. Sometimes a matador will place his own banderillas. If they do so they usually embellish this part of their performance and employ more varied manoeuvres than the standard "al cuarteo" method usually used by Banderilleros that are part of a Matador's cuadrilla.

In the final stage, the tercio de muerte ("the third of death"), the matador re-enters the ring alone with a small red cape, or muleta
Muleta
Muleta is the name of the stick that the red cloth hangs from in the final third of a bullfight. It is different from the cape used by the matador earlier in the fight ....

, and a sword. It is a common misconception that the color red is supposed to anger the bull, because bulls, in fact, are colorblind. The cape is thought to be red to mask the bull's blood, although this is now also a matter of tradition. The matador uses his cape to attract the bull in a series of passes which serve the dual purpose of wearing the animal down for the kill and producing a beautiful display or faena. He may also demonstrate his domination over the bull by caping it especially close to his body. The faena is the entire performance with the muleta and it is usually broken down into tandas, "series", of passes. The faena ends with a final series of passes in which the matador with a muleta attempts to maneuver the bull into a position to stab it between the shoulder blades and through the aorta or heart. The sword is called "estoque" and the act of thrusting the sword is called an estocada. The estoque used by the matador during the faena is called estoque simulado. This estoque simulado is made out of wood or aluminum. In contrast to the estoque de verdad (real sword) which is made out of steel and is used for the estocada the estoque simulado is lighter and therefore much easier to handle. However, at the end of the tercio de muerte at the time when the matador has finished his faena the matador will change his estoque simolado for the estoque de verdad to perform the estocada.

If the matador has performed particularly well, the crowd may petition the president to award the matador an ear of the bull by waving white handkerchiefs. If his performance was exceptional, he will award two, and in certain more rural rings a tail can still be awarded. Very rarely, if the public or the matador believe that the bull has fought extremely bravely, they may petition the president of the event to grant the bull a pardon (indulto) and if granted the bull's life is spared and it is allowed to leave the ring alive and return to the ranch where it came from. Then the bull becomes a stud bull for the rest of its life.

Recortes

Recortes, a style of bullfighting practised in Navarre
Navarre
Navarre , officially the Chartered Community of Navarre is an autonomous community in northern Spain, bordering the Basque Country, La Rioja, and Aragon in Spain and Aquitaine in France...

, La Rioja, North of Castile and Valencia
Valencian Community
The Valencian Community is an autonomous community of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Valencia...

, has been far less popular than the traditional corridas. There has been a recent resurgence of recortes in Spain where they are sometimes shown on TV.

This style was common in the early 19th century. Etchings by painter Francisco de Goya
Francisco Goya
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era...

 depict these events.

Recortes claims to differ from a corrida in the following ways:
  • The bull is not physically injured. Drawing blood is rare and the bull returns to his pen at the end of the performance.
  • The men are dressed in common street clothes and not in traditional bullfighting dress.
  • Acrobatics are performed without the use of capes or other props. Performers attempt to evade the bull solely through the swiftness of their movements.
  • Rituals are less strict so the men have freedom to perform stunts as they please.
  • Men work in teams but with less role distinction than in a corrida.
  • Teams compete for points awarded by a jury.


Animal rights
Animal rights
Animal rights, also known as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings...

 groups such as PETA
Peta
Peta can refer to:* peta-, an SI prefix denoting a factor of 1015* Peta, Greece, a town in Greece* Peta, the Pāli word for a Preta, or hungry ghost in Buddhism* Peta Wilson, an Australian actress and model* Peta Todd, English glamour model...

 object to recortes; however, some people find recortes less objectionable than traditional bullfighting since the bull survives the ordeal. Since horses are not used, and performers are not professionals, recortes are less costly to produce.

Portuguese

Most Portuguese bullfights are held in two phases: the spectacle of the cavaleiro, and the pega. In the cavaleiro, a horseman on a Portuguese Lusitano
Lusitano
The Lusitano is a Portuguese horse breed, closely related to the Spanish Andalusian horse. Both are sometimes called Iberian horses, as the breeds both developed on the Iberian peninsula, and until the 1960s they were considered one breed, under the Andalusian name...

 horse (specially trained for the fights) fights the bull from horseback. The purpose of this fight is to stab three or four bandeiras (small javelins
Spear
A spear is a pole weapon consisting of a shaft, usually of wood, with a pointed head.The head may be simply the sharpened end of the shaft itself, as is the case with bamboo spears, or it may be made of a more durable material fastened to the shaft, such as flint, obsidian, iron, steel or...

) in the back of the bull.

In the second stage, called the pega ("holding"), the forcado
Forcado
A forcado is a member of the team that performs the pega de cara or pega de caras , the final event in a typical Portuguese bullfight...

s, a group of eight men, challenge the bull directly without any protection or weapon of defence. The front man provokes the bull into a charge to perform a pega de cara or pega de caras (face grab). The front man secures the animal's head and is quickly aided by his fellows who surround and secure the animal until he is subdued. Forcados are dressed in a traditional costume of damask
Damask
Damask is a reversible figured fabric of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers, with a pattern formed by weaving. Damasks are woven with one warp yarn and one weft yarn, usually with the pattern in warp-faced satin weave and the ground in weft-faced or sateen weave...

 or velvet
Velvet
Velvet is a type of woven tufted fabric in which the cut threads are evenly distributed,with a short dense pile, giving it a distinctive feel.The word 'velvety' is used as an adjective to mean -"smooth like velvet".-Composition:...

, with long knitted hats as worn by the campinos (bull headers) from Ribatejo
Ribatejo
The Ribatejo is the most central of the traditional provinces of Portugal, with no coastline or border with Spain. The region is crossed by the Tagus River...

.

The bull is not killed in the ring and, at the end of the corrida, leading oxen are let into the arena and two campinos on foot herd the bull among them back to its pen. The bull is usually killed, away from the audience's sight, by a professional butcher. It can happen that some bulls, after an exceptional performance, are healed, released to pasture until their end days and used for breeding.

French

Since the 19th century Spanish-style corridas have been increasingly popular in Southern France
Southern France
Southern France , colloquially known as le Midi is defined geographical area consisting of the regions of France that border the Atlantic Ocean south of the Gironde, Spain, the Mediterranean, and Italy...

 where they enjoy legal protection in areas where there is an uninterrupted tradition of such bull fights, particularly during holidays such as Whitsun
Whitsun
Whitsun is the name used in the UK for the Christian festival of Pentecost, the seventh Sunday after Easter, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ's disciples...

 or Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

. Among France's most important venues for bullfighting are the ancient Roman arenas of Nîmes
Nîmes
Nîmes is the capital of the Gard department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France. Nîmes has a rich history, dating back to the Roman Empire, and is a popular tourist destination.-History:...

 and Arles
Arles
Arles is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence....

, although there are bull rings across the South from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic coasts. The French version of bullfighting is unique in that the bulls have a choice not to fight.

A more indigenous genre of bullfighting is widely common in the Provence
Provence
Provence ; Provençal: Provença in classical norm or Prouvènço in Mistralian norm) is a region of south eastern France on the Mediterranean adjacent to Italy. It is part of the administrative région of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur...

 and Languedoc
Languedoc
Languedoc is a former province of France, now continued in the modern-day régions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées in the south of France, and whose capital city was Toulouse, now in Midi-Pyrénées. It had an area of approximately 42,700 km² .-Geographical Extent:The traditional...

 areas, and is known alternately as "course libre" or "course camarguaise". This is a bloodless spectacle (for the bulls) in which the objective is to snatch a rosette from the head of a young bull. The participants, or raseteurs, begin training in their early teens against young bulls from the Camargue
Camargue
The Camargue is the region located south of Arles, France, between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the Rhône River delta. The eastern arm is called the Grand Rhône; the western one is the Petit Rhône....

 region of Provence before graduating to regular contests held principally in Arles and Nîmes but also in other Provençal and Languedoc towns and villages. Before the course, an encierro—a "running" of the bulls in the streets—takes place, in which young men compete to outrun the charging bulls. The course itself takes place in a small (often portable) arena erected in a town square. For a period of about 15–20 minutes, the raseteurs compete to snatch rosettes (cocarde) tied between the bulls' horns. They do not take the rosette with their bare hands but with a claw-shaped metal instrument called a raset or crochet (hook) in their hands, hence their name. Afterwards, the bulls are herded back to their pen by gardians (Camarguais cowboy
Cowboy
A cowboy is an animal herder who tends cattle on ranches in North America, traditionally on horseback, and often performs a multitude of other ranch-related tasks. The historic American cowboy of the late 19th century arose from the vaquero traditions of northern Mexico and became a figure of...

s) in a bandido, amidst a great deal of ceremony. The star of these spectacles are the bulls, who get top billing and stand to gain fame and statues in their honor, and lucrative product endorsement contracts.

Another type of French 'bullfighting' is the "course landaise
Course Landaise
The course Landaise is an ancient form of bullfighting held in oval or rectangular arenas covered in sand, that does not involve any bloodshed. Experienced cows generally from the age of 2 and up to 14 years old are used instead of bulls. They are athletic animals selected from the same breed as...

" style, in which cows are used instead of bulls. This is a competition between teams named cuadrillas, which belong to certain breeding estates. A cuadrilla
Cuadrilla
Cuadrilla is a Spanish word for a small group of people.Specifically it can mean:* a group of friends. In Basque culture, the cuadrilla continues from youth to maturity...

 is made up of a teneur de corde, an entraîneur, a sauteur, and six écarteurs. The cows are brought to the arena in boxes and then taken out in order. Teneur de corde controls the dangling rope attached to cow's horns and the entraîneur positions the cow to face and attack the player. The écarteurs will try, at the last possible moment, to dodge around the cow and the sauteur will leap over it. Each team aims to complete a set of at least one hundred dodges and eight leaps. This is the main scheme of the "classic" form, the course landaise formelle. However, different rules may be applied in some competitions. For example, competitions for Coupe Jeannot Lafittau are arranged with cows without ropes.

At one point it resulted in so many fatalities that the French government tried to ban it, but had to back down in the face of local opposition. The bulls themselves are generally fairly small, much less imposing than the adult bulls employed in the corrida. Nonetheless, the bulls remain dangerous due to their mobility and vertically formed horns. Participants and spectators share the risk; it is not unknown for angry bulls to smash their way through barriers and charge the surrounding crowd of spectators. The course landaise is not seen as a dangerous sport by many, but écarteur Jean-Pierre Rachou died in 2003 when a bull's horn tore his femoral artery
Femoral artery
The femoral artery is a general term comprising a few large arteries in the thigh. They begin at the inguinal ligament and end just above the knee at adductor canal or Hunter's canal traversing the extent of the femur bone....

.

Tamil Nadu or Indian style – Jallikattu

Jallikattu
Jallikattu
Jallikattu or Eruthazhuvuthal or Manju Virattu is a bull taming sport played in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations usually on Mattu Pongal day. This is one of the oldest living ancient sports seen in the modern era. Although it sounds similar to the Spanish running of the bulls, it is...

 or Sallikattu -சல்லிகட்டு or Eruthazhuvuthal -ஏருதழுவுதல் is a bull-taming sport played in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

 as a part of Pongal
Pongal
Thai Ponggal is a harvest festival celebrated by Tamils in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Indian Union Territory of Pondicherry and in Sri Lanka. Pongal coincides with the festival Makara Sankranthi celebrated throughout India. Pongal in Tamil means "boiling over" or "spill over". The boiling...

 celebration. It is one of the oldest in the modern era. Although it sounds similar to the Spanish running of the bulls, it is different. In Jallikattu, the bull is not killed and the 'matadors' are not supposed to use any weapon. It is held in the villages of Tamil Nadu as a part of the village festivals held from January to July, every year. The one held in Alanganallur, near Madurai, is one of the more popular events. This sport is also known as "Manju Virattu", meaning "chasing the bull".

Understanding Jallikattu or Manju Virattu:
Jallikattu is based on the simple concept of "flight or fight". Cattle are herd and prey animals and run away from dangerous situations, but there are exceptions. Cape buffalos stand up against lions and often kill them. The Indian Gaur
Gaur
The gaur , also called Indian bison, is a large bovine native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. The species is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986 as the population decline in parts of the species' range is likely to be well over 70% over the last three generations...

 bull is known for standing its ground against predators and tigers are wary of attacking a full grown Gaur bull. Aurochs
Aurochs
The aurochs , the ancestor of domestic cattle, were a type of large wild cattle which inhabited Europe, Asia and North Africa, but is now extinct; it survived in Europe until 1627....

, the ancestors of domestic cattle, were known for their pugnacious nature. Jallikattu bulls belong to a few specific breeds of cattle that descended from the kangayam
Kangeyam bull
The Kangeyam bull or Kangayam cattle conform largely to the Zebu Southern Indian Mysore type, though there is evidence of the blood of the gray-white Ongole cattle in their appearance. These genes may have given the breed its larger comparative size. The breed gets its name from Kangayam in the...

 breed of cattle and these cattle are pugnacious by nature. These cattle are reared in large herds numbering in the hundreds, with a few cowherds tending to them. These cattle are for all practical comparisons, wild and only the cowherds can mingle with them without fear of being attacked. It is from these herds that calves with good characteristics and body conformation are selected and reared to become jallikattu bulls. These bulls attack not because they are irritated or agitated or frightened, but because that is their basic nature.

There are three versions of Jallikattu:
  1. Vadi manju virattu – this version takes place mostly in the districts of Madurai
    Madurai District
    Madurai district is one of the 32 districts of the state of Tamil Nadu, in southeastern India. The city of Madurai serves as the district headquarters. It houses the world famous Sri Meenakshi Sundareshwarar temple and is situated on the banks of river Vaigai. Thiruparankundram is one of the major...

    , Pudukkottai
    Pudukkottai District
    Pudukkottai District is a district of Tamil Nadu state in southern India. The city of Pudukkottai is the district headquarters...

    , Theni
    Theni District
    Theni District is a district of Tamil Nadu state in South India. The city of Theni is the district headquarters. The district is divided into two natural divisions: The hilly areas constituted by parts of the three taluks Periyakulam, Uthamapalayam and Andipatti with thick vegetation and...

    , Tanjore
    Thanjavur District
    Thanjavur District is one of the 32 districts of the state of Tamil Nadu, in southeastern India. Its headquarters is Thanjavur.-Geography:...

    , and Salem
    Salem District
    Salem District is a district of Tamil Nadu state in southern India. The city of Salem is the district headquarters. Other major towns in the district are Mettur, Omalur and Attur...

    . It has been popularised by television and films and involves the bull being released from an enclosure through an opening. As the bull comes out of the enclosure, one person clings to the hump of the bull. The bull in its attempt to shake him off will bolt in most cases, but some will hook the man with their horns and throw him off. The rules specify that the person has to hold on to the running bull for a predetermined distance to win the prize. In this version, only one person is supposed to attempt catching the bull. Some bulls acquire a reputation and that is enough for them to be given a unhindered passage out of the enclosure and arena.
  2. Vaeli virattu – this version is more popular in the districts of sivagangai, manamadurai
    Manamadurai
    Manamadurai is a panchayat town in Sivaganga district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.-Geography:Manamadurai is located at It has an average elevation of 70 metres .shops-Demographics:...

     and madurai
    Madurai
    Madurai is the third largest city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It served as the capital city of the Pandyan Kingdom. It is the administrative headquarters of Madurai District and is famous for its temples built by Pandyan and...

    . The bull is released in an open ground. This version is the most natural, as the bulls are not restricted in any way (no rope or determined path). The bulls once released simply run away from the field in any direction. Most do not even come close to any human. There are a few bulls that do not run but stand their ground and attack anyone who tries to come near them. These bulls will "play" for some time (from a few minutes to several hours) providing a spectacle for viewers, players and owners alike.
  3. Vadam manjuvirattu – "vadam" means rope in Tamil
    Tamil language
    Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

    . The bull is tied to a 50 feet (15.2 m) and is free to move within this space. A team of seven or nine members must attempt to subdue the bull within 30 minutes. This version is safe for spectators, as the bull is tied and the spectators are shielded by barricades.


Training of jallikattu bulls: the calves that are chosen to become jallikattu bulls are fed a nutritious diet so they develop into strong, sturdy beasts. The bulls are made to swim for exercise. The calves, once they reach adolescence are taken to small jallikattu events to familiarise them with the atmosphere. Specific training is given to vadam manju virattu bulls to understand the restraints of the rope. Apart from this, no other training is provided to jallikattu bulls.

Bullfighting in Oman

Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 is perhaps the only country in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 and the Arab world in which bullfighting is carried out. In the interiors of the country, temporary bullrings are set up for the events. Al-Batena area is prominent for such events. Wide audiences turn up to see the events unfold. Omani bullfighting is however not a violent event. The origins of bullfighting in Oman are unknown, though locals believe it was brought to Oman by the Moors who had conquered Spain. Its existence is also attributed to Portugal which colonized the Omani coastline for nearly two centuries.

Freestyle bullfighting

Freestyle bullfighting is a style of bullfighting developed in American rodeo
Rodeo
Rodeo is a competitive sport which arose out of the working practices of cattle herding in Spain, Mexico, and later the United States, Canada, South America and Australia. It was based on the skills required of the working vaqueros and later, cowboys, in what today is the western United States,...

. The style was developed by the rodeo clown
Rodeo clown
A rodeo clown, also known as a bullfighter or rodeo protection athlete, is a rodeo performer who works in bull riding competitions. The primary job of the rodeo clown is to protect a fallen rider from the bull, whether the rider has been bucked off or has jumped off of the animal...

s who protect bull riders
Bull riding
Bull riding refers to rodeo sports that involve a rider getting on a large bull and attempting to stay mounted while the animal attempts to buck off the rider....

 from being trampled or gored by an angry bull. Freestyle bullfighting is a 70-second competition in which the bullfighter (rodeo clown) avoids the bull by means of dodging, jumping and use of a barrel. Competitions are organized in the US as the World Bullfighting Championship (WBC) and the Dickies
Dickies
Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company, more commonly referred to as the brand Dickies, is an American company headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas that manufactures and sells work-related clothing and other accessories, including back packs, steel-toe boots, and belts. Its major competitors are...

 National Bullfighting Championship under auspices of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR).

Comic bullfighting

Comical spectacles based on bullfighting, called espectáculos cómico-taurinos or charlotadas, are still popular in Spain and Mexico, with troupes like El empastre or El bombero torero.

Hazards

Spanish-style bullfighting is normally fatal for the bull but it is also dangerous for the matador. Picadors and banderilleros are sometimes gored, but this is not common.

Some matadors, notably Juan Belmonte
Juan Belmonte
Juan Belmonte García was a Spanish bullfighter, considered by many to have been the greatest matador of all time.-Life:...

, have been gored many times: according to Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

, Belmonte's legs were marred by many ugly scars. A special type of surgeon
Surgeon
In medicine, a surgeon is a specialist in surgery. Surgery is a broad category of invasive medical treatment that involves the cutting of a body, whether human or animal, for a specific reason such as the removal of diseased tissue or to repair a tear or breakage...

 has developed, in Spain and elsewhere, to treat cornadas, or horn-wounds.

The bullring has a chapel where a matador can pray before the corrida, and where a priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

 can be found in case a sacrament
Sacrament
A sacrament is a sacred rite recognized as of particular importance and significance. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites.-General definitions and terms:...

 is needed. The most relevant sacrament is now called "Anointing of the Sick
Anointing of the Sick
Anointing of the Sick, known also by other names, is distinguished from other forms of religious anointing or "unction" in that it is intended, as its name indicates, for the benefit of a sick person...

"; it was formerly known as "Extreme Unction", or the "Last Rites".

The media often reports the more horrific of bullfighting injuries, such as the May 2010 piercing of matador Julio Aparicio Díaz
Julio Aparicio Díaz
Julio Aparicio Díaz , also known as Julito Aparicio, is a Spanish bullfighter from Seville. Aparicio made his public début in bullfighting at the age of fourteen in 1984. He was confirmed as a torero, or matador, in 1994...

's chin by a bull's horn.

Cultural aspects

Many supporters of bullfighting regard it as a deeply ingrained, integral part of their national culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

s. The aesthetic of bullfighting is based on the interaction of the man and the bull. Rather than a competitive sport, the bullfight is more of a ritual which is judged by aficionados (bullfighting fans) based on artistic impression and command. Ernest Hemingway said of it in his 1932 non-fiction book Death in the Afternoon
Death in the Afternoon
Death in the Afternoon is a non-fiction book by Ernest Hemingway about the ceremony and traditions of Spanish bullfighting. It was originally published in 1932. The book provides a look at the history and what Hemingway considers the magnificence of bullfighting...

: "Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the fighter's honour." Bullfighting is seen as a symbol of Spanish culture.

The bullfight is above all about the demonstration of style, technique and courage by its participants. While there is usually no doubt about the outcome, the bull is not viewed as a sacrificial victim—it is instead seen by the audience as a worthy adversary, deserving of respect in its own right.

Those who oppose bullfighting maintain that the practice is merely a cowardly, sadistic tradition of slowly torturing, humiliating and finally murdering a terrified, dying bull who vomits blood, bellows in agony, and desperately seeks his escape amid pomp and pageantry of unashamed people who applaud when he finally collapses and then is killed. Supporters of bullfights, called "aficionados," claim they respect the bulls and that bullfighting is a grand tradition; a form of art important to their culture.

Public opinion

A 2002 Gallup poll found that 68.8% of Spaniards express "no interest" in bullfighting while 20.6% expressed "some interest" and 10.4% "a lot of interest". The poll also found significant generational variety, with 51% of those 65 and older expressing interest, compared with 23% of those between 25 and 34 years of age. Popularity also varies significantly according to regions in Spain with it being least popular in Galicia and Catalonia with 79% and 81% of those polled expressing no interest. Interest is greatest in the zones of the north, centre, east and south, with around 37% declaring themselves fans and 63% having no interest.

According to a poll conducted by the Sports Marketing Group in Atlanta in 2003, 46.2% of Americans polled hated or strongly disliked bull fighting.

Animal rights

Bullfighting is criticized by animal rights
Animal rights
Animal rights, also known as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings...

 activists, referring to it as a cruel or barbaric blood sport
Blood sport
Bloodsport or blood sport is any sport or entertainment that involves violence against animals.Bloodsport includes coursing or beagling, combat sports such as cockfighting and dog fighting, or other activities...

, in which the bull suffers severe stress and a slow, torturous death. A number of animal rights or animal welfare
Animal welfare
Animal welfare is the physical and psychological well-being of animals.The term animal welfare can also mean human concern for animal welfare or a position in a debate on animal ethics and animal rights...

 activist groups undertake anti-bullfighting actions in Spain and other countries. In Spanish, opposition to bullfighting is referred to as antitaurina.
Bullfighting guide The Bulletpoint Bullfight warns that bullfighting is "not for the squeamish", advising spectators to "be prepared for blood." The guide details prolonged and profuse bleeding caused by horse-mounted lancers, the charging by the bull of a blindfolded, armored horse who is "sometimes doped up, and unaware of the proximity of the bull", the placing of barbed darts by banderilleros, followed by the matador's fatal sword thrust. The guide stresses that these procedures are a normal part of bullfighting and that death is rarely instantaneous. The guide further warns those attending bullfights to "Be prepared to witness various failed attempts at killing the animal before it lies down."

Funding

It has also been noted by critics that bullfighting is financed with public money. In 2007, the Spanish fighting bull breeding industry was allocated euros in grants, and in 2008 almost . Some of this money comes from European funds to livestock. Bullfighting supporters argue that almost every single cultural endeavour in Europe is partially financed by public money and few of them generate the kind of revenue and taxes in return that bullfighting does through its impact on businesses like hotels, restaurants, insurances and other industries directly or indirectly linked to the spectacle.

Style

Another current of criticism comes from aficionados themselves, who may despise modern developments such as the defiant style ("antics" for some) of El Cordobés
El Cordobés
Manuel Benítez Pérez , more commonly known as El Cordobés , is a famous matador of the 1960s who brought to the bullring an unorthodox acrobatic and theatrical style.-Career:...

 or the lifestyle of Jesulín de Ubrique, a common subject of Spanish gossip magazine
Gossip magazine
Gossip magazines feature scandalous stories about the personal lives of celebrities. This genre of magazine flourished in North America in the 1950s and early 1960s. The title Confidential alone boasted a monthly circulation in excess of ten million, and it had many competitors, with names like...

s. His "female audience"-only corridas were despised by veterans, many of whom reminisce about times past, comparing modern bullfighters with early figures.

Politics

Late 19th century / early 20th century Fin-de-siècle Spanish regeneracionista intellectuals protested against what they called the policy of pan y toros ("bread and bulls"), an analogue of Roman panem et circenses promoted by politicians to keep the populace content in its oppression. During the Franco dictatorship bullfights were supported by the state as something genuinely Spanish, as the fiesta nacional, so that bullfights became associated with the regime and, for this reason, many thought they would decline after the transition to democracy, but this did not happen. Later social-democratic
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party
The Spanish Socialist Workers' Party is a social-democratic political party in Spain. Its political position is Centre-left. The PSOE is the former ruling party of Spain, until beaten in the elections of November 2011 and the second oldest, exceeded only by the Partido Carlista, founded in...

 governments, particularly the current government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party . He was elected for two terms as Prime Minister of Spain, in the 2004 and 2008 general elections. On 2 April 2011 he announced he will not stand for re-election in 2012...

, have generally been more opposed to bullfighting, prohibiting children under 14 from attending and limiting or prohibiting the broadcast of bullfights on national TV.

Some in Spain despise bullfighting because of its association with the Spanish nation and the Franco regime. Despite the long history and popularity of bullfighting in Barcelona, in 2010 it was banned in the Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

 region, although this move has been criticized by some as being motivated by issues of Catalan independentism
Catalan independentism
Catalan independentism is a political movement, derived from Catalan nationalism, which supports the independence of Catalonia or the so-called Catalan countries from Spain and France...

 rather than animal rights, even when the law that banned it was proposed by an animal rights civic platform called "Prou!" ("Enough!" in Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

).

The Spanish Royal Family
Spanish Royal Family
The Royal Family of the Kingdom of Spain consists of the current king, Juan Carlos, his spouse, Queen Sofia of Spain and their direct descendants. The Spanish royal family belongs to the House of Borbón...

 is divided on the issue, from Queen Sophia who does not hide her dislike for bullfights, to King Juan Carlos
Juan Carlos I of Spain
Juan Carlos I |Italy]]) is the reigning King of Spain.On 22 November 1975, two days after the death of General Francisco Franco, Juan Carlos was designated king according to the law of succession promulgated by Franco. Spain had no monarch for 38 years in 1969 when Franco named Juan Carlos as the...

 who occasionally presides over a bullfight from the royal box as part of his official duties, to their daughter Princess Elena who is well known for her liking of bullfights and who often accompanies the king in the presiding box or attends privately in the general seating.
The King has allegedly stated, that "the day the EU bans bullfighting is the day Spain leaves the EU".

Judaism

In Judaism, the Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

 (Nezikin: Avodah Zarah) discusses the Rabbis' warning against visiting "stadiums and circuses." Prominent eleventh-century scholar Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki (Rashi) interpreted "stadiums" as referring to "a place where they taunt the bull." Eighteenth-century scholar Rabbi Yechezkel Landau
Yechezkel Landau
Yechezkel ben Yehuda Landau was an influential authority in halakha . He is best known for the work Noda Biyhudah , by which title he is also known.-Biography:...

 (Noda' BiYehuda) was asked if one may hunt for sport. He answered that one may not, for it involves putting oneself in danger and is a demonstration of cruelty toward animals. Former Chief Rabbi of Israel Rav Ovadia Yosef
Ovadia Yosef
Ovadia Yosef is the former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, a recognised Talmudic scholar and foremost halakhic authority.He currently serves as the spiritual leader of the Shas political party in the Israeli parliament...

 was asked specifically if one may watch a bullfight. He answered that it is forbidden: one must not go to places where performing acts of cruelty against animals is made into a form of amusement.

Islam

Housni al-Khateeb Shehada, an Israeli college lecturer on Islamic art and culture, analyzed the responses of Sunni jurists at IslamOnline
IslamOnline
Islamonline is a global Islamic website on the Internet providing services to Muslims and non-Muslims in several languages. Its motto is "credibility and distinction." Sunni Muslim scholar....

 to inquiries relating to animal cruelty and concluded that there is a strict prohibition against tormenting animals for purposes of amusement, entertainment, or spectator sport
Spectator sport
A spectator sport is a sport that is characterized by the presence of spectators, or watchers, at its matches. For instance, Tennis, Rugby, F-1, baseball, basketball, cricket, football , and ice hockey are spectator sports, while hunting or underwater hockey typically are not...

 – including bullfighting.

Media prohibitions

State-run Spanish TVE cancelled live coverage of bullfights in August 2007, claiming that the coverage was too violent for children who might be watching, and that live coverage violated a voluntary, industry-wide code attempting to limit "sequences that are particularly crude or brutal". In October 2008, in a statement to Congress, Luis Fernández, the President of Spanish State Broadcaster TVE, confirmed that the station will no longer broadcast live bullfights due to the high cost of production and a rejection of the events by advertisers. However the station will continue to broadcast 'Tendido Cero', a bullfighting magazine programme. Having the national Spanish TV stop broadcasting it, after 50 years of history, was considered a big step for its abolition. Nevertheless, other regional and private channels keep broadcasting it with good audiences.

A Portuguese television station also prohibited the broadcasting of bullfights in January 2008, because they are too violent for minors. In March 2009, Viana do Castelo, a city in northern Portugal, became the first city in that country to ban bullfighting. Mayor Defensor Moura cited torture and imposition of unjustifiable suffering as a factor in arriving at the ban. The city's bullfighting arena will be torn down to accommodate a new cultural centre.

Pre-20th century

Pope Pius V
Pope Pius V
Pope Saint Pius V , born Antonio Ghislieri , was Pope from 1566 to 1572 and is a saint of the Catholic Church. He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman liturgy within the Latin Church...

 issued a papal bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 titled De Salute Gregis in November 1567 which forbade fighting of bulls and any other beasts as the voluntary risk to life endangered the soul of the combatants, but it was abolished eight years later by his successor, Pope Gregory XIII, at the request of king Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

.

Bullfighting was introduced in Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

 in 1776 by Spain and abolished by Uruguayan law in February 1912. Bullfighting was also introduced in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 by Spain but after Argentina's independence the event drastically diminished in popularity and was abolished in 1899 under law 2786.

Bullfighting also saw a presence in Cuba during its colonial period but was quickly abolished after its independence in 1901.

During the 18th and 19th centuries bullfighting in Spain was banned at several occasions (for instance by Philip V
Philip V of Spain
Philip V was King of Spain from 15 November 1700 to 15 January 1724, when he abdicated in favor of his son Louis, and from 6 September 1724, when he assumed the throne again upon his son's death, to his death.Before his reign, Philip occupied an exalted place in the royal family of France as a...

) but always reinstituted later by other governments.

20th century onwards

Bullfighting is now banned in many countries; people taking part in such activity would be liable for terms of imprisonment for animal cruelty. "Bloodless" variations, though, are permitted and have attracted a following in California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

.

In 1991, the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

 became the first Spanish Autonomous Community
Autonomous communities of Spain
An autonomous community In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian .*Galician .*Basque . The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".Political power in Spain is...

 to ban bullfighting, when they legislated to ban bullfights and other spectacles that involve cruelty to animals, with the exception of cockfight
Cockfight
A cockfight is a blood sport between two roosters , held in a ring called a cockpit. Cockfighting is now illegal throughout all states in the United States, Brazil, Australia and in most of Europe. It is still legal in several U.S. territories....

ing, which is traditional in some towns in the Islands.
Some supporters of bullfighting and even Lorenzo Olarte Cullen
Lorenzo Olarte Cullen
Lorenzo Olarte Cullen is a local Canarian politician and lawyer. He is a former president of the Canary island Automous region but served only 2 years of his 4 years term...

, Canarian head of government at the time, have argued that the fighting bull is not a "domestic animal" and hence the law does not ban bullfighting.
The absence of spectacles since 1984 would be due to lack of demand.
In the rest of Spain, national laws against cruelty to animals have abolished most blood sports, but specifically exempt bullfighting.

Several cities around the world have symbolically declared themselves to be Anti-Bullfighting Cities
Anti-Bullfighting City
The Anti-bullfighting City is a declaration of an ethics and policy statement adopted by the municipalities in which they do not support the realisation of bullfighting events in their county in any way and state that they are against the practice of bullfighting and in aid of the principles of the...

, including Barcelona, where the last bullfighting ring closed in 2006.

Ecuador

Ecuador staged bullfights to the death for over three centuries due to being a former Spanish colony.

On 17 December 2010 Ecuador's
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 president Rafael Correa
Rafael Correa
Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado born is the President of the Republic of Ecuador and was the president pro tempore of the Union of South American Nations. An economist educated in Ecuador, Belgium and the United States, he was elected President in late 2006 and took office in January 2007...

 announced that in a upcoming referendum
Referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...

, the country will be asked whether to ban bullfighting.

In a referendum in May 2011, the Ecuadorians agreed on banning the final killing of the bull that happens in a corrida.
Catalonia

On 18 December 2009, the parliament of Catalonia
Parliament of Catalonia
The Parliament of Catalonia is the unicameral legislature of Catalonia. It is formed by 135 members , who are elected every four years in ordinary period, or extraordinarily upon dissolution and call of elections by the President of Catalonia, by universal suffrage in proportional lists with four...

, one of Spain's seventeen Autonomous Communities
Autonomous communities of Spain
An autonomous community In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian .*Galician .*Basque . The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".Political power in Spain is...

, approved by majority the preparation of a law to ban bullfighting in Catalonia
Ban on bullfighting in Catalonia
Bullfighting was banned in the Spanish region of Catalonia by a vote of the Catalan Parliament in July 2010. The ban comes into effect on 1 January 2012...

, as a response to a popular initiative against bullfighting that gathered more than 180,000 signatures. On 2010, with the two main parties allowing their members a free vote, the ban was passed 68 to 55, with 9 abstentions. This meant Catalonia became the second Community
Autonomous communities of Spain
An autonomous community In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian .*Galician .*Basque . The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".Political power in Spain is...

 of Spain (first was Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

 in 1991), and the first on the mainland
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

, to ban bullfighting. The ban takes effect in January 2012, and would only affect the one remaining functioning Catalonian bullring, the Plaza de toros Monumental de Barcelona
La Monumental
The Plaza Monumental de Barcelona, often known simply as La Monumental , is a bullring in the city of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It is the last bullfighting arena in commercial operation in Catalonia. It was inaugurated in 1914 under the name Plaza de El Sport and was immediately expanded and...

.
It would not affect the correbous, a traditional game of the Ebro
Ebro
The Ebro or Ebre is one of the most important rivers in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the biggest river by discharge volume in Spain.The Ebro flows through the following cities:*Reinosa in Cantabria.*Miranda de Ebro in Castile and León....

 where lit flares are attached to a bull’s horns. The ‘correbous’ however is only seen in the municipalities in the south of Tarragona
Tarragona
Tarragona is a city located in the south of Catalonia on the north-east of Spain, by the Mediterranean. It is the capital of the Spanish province of the same name and the capital of the Catalan comarca Tarragonès. In the medieval and modern times it was the capital of the Vegueria of Tarragona...

, and is essentially Catalan
Catalan people
The Catalans or Catalonians are the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia that form a historical nationality in Spain. The inhabitants of the adjacent portion of southern France are sometimes included in this definition...

.

See also

  • Arenas:
    • Bullrings of the world
  • People:
    • List of bullfighters
    • Ordóñez (bullfighter family)
      Ordóñez (bullfighter family)
      Ordóñez is a bullfighter family that has flourished since 1917 in Ronda; it is one of two significant bullfighter families from the same city; the other one is the Romero family.Notable members of the Ordóñez family are:...

    • Romero dynasty
    • CAS International
      CAS International
      CAS International is an international non-profit advocacy group which aims to end bullfighting. CAS International was founded in 1993 as Comité Anti Stierenvechten following a request from Spain, with the help of ADDA from Barcelona, Spain, De Dierenbescherming and the international animal welfare...

      , Committee against bullfighting
  • Animals:
    • Andalusian horse
      Andalusian horse
      The Andalusian, also known as the Pure Spanish Horse or PRE , is a horse breed developed in the Iberian Peninsula. Its ancestors have been present on the Iberian Peninsula for thousands of years. The Andalusian has been recognized as an individual breed since the 15th century, and its conformation...

    • Fighting Cattle
      Fighting Cattle
      The Spanish Fighting Bull is an Iberian cattle breed. It is primarily bred free-range on extensive estates in Southern Spain, Portugal and Latin American countries where bull fighting is organized...

      , bull breed used for fighting
    • Iberian horse
      Iberian horse
      The Iberian horse is a title given to a number of horse breeds native to the Iberian peninsula. At present, 17 horse breeds are recognized by FAO as characteristic of the Iberian Peninsula....

    • Lusitano
      Lusitano
      The Lusitano is a Portuguese horse breed, closely related to the Spanish Andalusian horse. Both are sometimes called Iberian horses, as the breeds both developed on the Iberian peninsula, and until the 1960s they were considered one breed, under the Andalusian name...

      , horse breed used in bullfighting
    • Miura
      Miura bull
      A Miura bull is a Spanish fighting bull bred from the lineage of the Miura Cattle Ranch , located in the province of Seville, Spain. The ranch originally belonged to Don Eduardo Miura Fernández, and is known for producing large and difficult fighting bulls...

      , a bull breed
  • Styles of bullfighting:
    • Picador
      Picador
      A picador is one of the pair of horsemen in a Spanish bullfight that jab the bull with a lance. They perform in the tercio de varas which is the first of the three stages in a Spanish bullfight.The picador has three main functions:...

       and rejoneador
      Rejoneador
      Rejoneador is the name given to a bullfighter who fights the bull on horseback. The rejoneador shouldn't be confused with the picador, who is just an assistant of the matador...

      , two Spanish styles of horse mounted bullfighting
    • Cow fighting
      Cow fighting
      Cow fighting is a traditional Swiss event. Unlike bullfighting, in which humans fight bulls, cow fighting pits cow against cow.Each year, the Swiss canton of Valais hosts a series of cow fights known as combats de reines , which began in the 1920s and has drawn as many as 50,000 spectators in a year...

      , Swiss style pitting cows against each other
    • Running of the Bulls, running event usually in the morning of the bullfight
    • Jallikattu
      Jallikattu
      Jallikattu or Eruthazhuvuthal or Manju Virattu is a bull taming sport played in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations usually on Mattu Pongal day. This is one of the oldest living ancient sports seen in the modern era. Although it sounds similar to the Spanish running of the bulls, it is...

      , unarmed bull-taming in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu
      Tamil Nadu
      Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

    • Tōgyū
      Togyu
      also known as ushi-zumo or Bull sumo, is a spectator sport native to Ryukyu Islands of Japan, especially in the Okinawa Prefecture.It is also held in other regions of Japan, such as Iwate Prefecture, Niigata Prefecture, Shimane Prefecture, Ehime Prefecture and Kagoshima Prefecture.Although...

      , bullfighting style of the Ryukyu Islands
      Ryukyu Islands
      The , also known as the , is a chain of islands in the western Pacific, on the eastern limit of the East China Sea and to the southwest of the island of Kyushu in Japan. From about 1829 until the mid 20th century, they were alternately called Luchu, Loochoo, or Lewchew, akin to the Mandarin...

       (particularly Okinawa) in Japan)
  • Literature and films:
    • The opera Carmen features a toreador as a major character, a well-known song about him, and a bullfight off-stage at the climax.
    • Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías
      Ignacio Sánchez Mejías
      Ignacio Sánchez Mejías was a famous Spanish bullfighter. He was also a writer. He enjoyed enormous popularity — he was attractive to women, admired by men, and a sympathetic personality to artists, especially those of the Generación del 27.When he died after a goring in the Plaza of...

      ("Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías", 1935), a poem by Federico García Lorca
      Federico García Lorca
      Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca was a Spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director. García Lorca achieved international recognition as an emblematic member of the Generation of '27. He is believed to be one of thousands who were summarily shot by anti-communist death squads...

      .
    • The Dangerous Summer
      The Dangerous Summer
      The Dangerous Summer is a book written by Ernest Hemingway published in 1985, which describes the rivalry between bullfighters Luis Miguel Dominguín and his brother-in-law Antonio Ordóñez during the "dangerous summer" of 1959...

      , Ernest Hemingway
      Ernest Hemingway
      Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

      's chronicle of the bullfighting rivalry between Luis Miguel Dominguín and his brother-in-law Antonio Ordóñez
      Antonio Ordóñez
      Antonio Ordóñez Araujo was a famous Spanish bullfighter.-Bullfighting career:Ordóñez was born Antonio Ordóñez Araujo in Ronda, Spain. He was one of the top bullfighters of his time. As a matador, Ordoñez came face to face with over 3000 bulls...

    • Death in the Afternoon
      Death in the Afternoon
      Death in the Afternoon is a non-fiction book by Ernest Hemingway about the ceremony and traditions of Spanish bullfighting. It was originally published in 1932. The book provides a look at the history and what Hemingway considers the magnificence of bullfighting...

      , Ernest Hemingway
      Ernest Hemingway
      Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

      's treatise on Spanish bullfighting (OCLC )
    • "The Sun Also Rises
      The Sun Also Rises
      The Sun Also Rises is a 1926 novel written by American author Ernest Hemingway about a group of American and British expatriates who travel from Paris to the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona to watch the running of the bulls and the bullfights. An early and enduring modernist novel, it received...

      ", a novel by Ernest Hemingway, includes many accounts of bullfighting.
    • Shadow of a Bull
      Shadow of a Bull
      Shadow of a Bull is a novel by Maia Wojciechowska that was awarded the Newbery Medal for excellence in American children's literature in 1965.-Plot summary:...

      , book by Maia Wojciechowska about a bullfighter's son, Manolo Olivar
    • The Story Of A Matador, David L. Wolper
      David L. Wolper
      David Lloyd Wolper was an American television and film producer, responsible for shows such as Roots, The Thorn Birds, North & South, L.A. Confidential, and the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory...

      's 1962 documentary about the life of the matador Jaime Bravo
      Jaime Bravo
      Jaime Bravo was a Mexican matador during the 1950s and 1960s. Bravo was known for death defying style and numerous relationships with women and Hollywood starlets.-Early life:...

    • Around the World in Eighty Days
      Around the World in Eighty Days (1956 film)
      Around the World in 80 Days is a 1956 adventure film produced by the Michael Todd Company and released by United Artists. It was directed by Michael Anderson. It was produced by Michael Todd, with Kevin McClory and William Cameron Menzies as associate producers. The screenplay was written by James...

      included scenes of Cantinflas
      Cantinflas
      Fortino Mario Alfonso Moreno Reyes , was a Mexican comic film actor, producer, and screenwriter known professionally as Cantinflas. He often portrayed impoverished campesinos or a peasant of pelado origin...

       bullfighting in Chinchón
      Chinchón
      Chinchón is a Spanish town 50 km southeast of Madrid. It is part of the Comarca de Las Vegas.-Overview:The Plaza Mayor is roughly circular, surrounded by 15th-17th century galleried houses and cafés and is used as a temporary bullring. The church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción was built in...

      .
    • Talk to Her
      Talk to Her
      Talk to Her is a 2002 Spanish comedy-drama film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, starring Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Geraldine Chaplin, and Rosario Flores...

      , film by Pedro Almodóvar
      Pedro Almodóvar
      Pedro Almodóvar Caballero is a Spanish film director, screenwriter and producer.Almodóvar is arguably the most successful and internationally known Spanish filmmaker of his generation. His films, marked by complex narratives, employ the codes of melodrama and use elements of pop culture, popular...

      , contains subplot concerning female matador who is gored during a bullfight. The director was criticized for shooting footage of a bull being actually killed during a bullfight staged especially for the film.
    • The Bullfighter And The Lady, about an expat American training as a matador.
  • Others
    • Ban on bullfighting in Catalonia
      Ban on bullfighting in Catalonia
      Bullfighting was banned in the Spanish region of Catalonia by a vote of the Catalan Parliament in July 2010. The ban comes into effect on 1 January 2012...

    • Paso Doble

Further reading

  • Elisabeth Hardouin-Fugier. Bullfighting: A Troubled History (U. of Chicago Press, 2010); 206 pages, ISBN 9781861895189
  • Ciofalo, John J. "The Artist in the Vicinity of Death." The Self-Portraits of Francisco Goya. Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  • Shadow of a Bull
    Shadow of a Bull
    Shadow of a Bull is a novel by Maia Wojciechowska that was awarded the Newbery Medal for excellence in American children's literature in 1965.-Plot summary:...

    , book by Maia Wojciechowska about a bullfighter's son
  • Ogorzaly, Michael A, When Bulls Cry: The Case Against Bullfighting, 2006, AuthorHouse, ISBN 1-4259-2772-6
  • Wood, Tristan, "How To Watch A Bullfight", 2011, Merlin Unwin Books, ISBN 9781906122270
  • Fiske-Harrison, Alexander, "Into The Arena: The World of the Spanish Bullfight", 2011, Profile Books, ISBN 1846683351
  • Marvin, Garry, "Bullfight", 1988, University of Illinois Press, ISBN 9780252064371

Women Writers on Bullfighting, Women Matadors

  • Pink, Sarah, "Women & Bull Fighting", 1997, Berg Publishers, ISBN 185973961X
  • Poon, Wena, "Alex y Robert", Salt Publishing, London, 2010. ISBN 9781907773082. Novel about an American teenage girl training as a matador in contemporary Spain. Also a BBC Radio 4 series.
  • Kennedy, Alison L., "On Bullfighting", 2001, Anchor Books, ISBN 0385720815

External links

  • "Bullfighting 101" - user-friendly explanations of what you are seeing at a typical bullfight
  • Bullfighting: Culture & Controversy – slideshow by Life magazine
  • Bullfighting in Barcelona - slideshow by The First Post
    The First Post
    The First Post is a British daily online news magazine based in London. It was launched in August 2005. It publishes news, current affairs, lifestyle, opinion, arts and sports pages, and it features an online games arcade and a cinema featuring short films, virals, trailers and eyewitness news...

  • Israel Lancho, Spanish Bullfighter Gored, The Huffington Post, 29 May 2009
  • "Arena" 2011 film about contemporary Spanish bullfighting and matador schools by Austrian director Gunter Schwaiger


Supporting bullfighting
Against bullfighting
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