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The Spanish Art of Bullfighting

Thrilling and Controversial Spectacle

Everyone who has ever been to Spain, will admit that it is an endlessly fascinated place to visit. Having strong religious backgrounds, flaming Mediterranean culture, and full of authentic arts and entertainment, Spain is a country that attracts millions of tourists every year. Probably the most controversial and widely criticized Spanish tradition is the art of bullfighting. Some people might believe that it is a cruel and unacceptable show, however the bullfighting (the teoreo) is still a strong tradition maintained all over the country.

Bullfighting is a sacrificial ritual and a symbolical fight between the man and the nature. The man or the woman pit themselves against the animal that nowadays is bred for the bullring. The special bull (torro bravo) must be at least 4 years old and weigh 460–600 kg before it can be fought. A participation of two genders is also a modern modification of a fight, as traditionally it was aimed to involve only the men. In addition, the new practice was introduced to disadvantage the bull by shaving its horns to make them blunt. Despite these new modifications, the art of bullfighting remains a part of noble Spanish heritage.

The bullfighting is a custom that in most of the cases includes three stages. During the first two stages the bull is weakened by the group of the men and horseback riders. Furthermore, the barbed darts are thrust into the bull's back muscles to take the strength away. The true and undoubtly the best known part of the bullfighting is the third stage. It is a direct fight that involves only a man and a bull. During this stage a bull is eventually killed. Presently the death of a bullfighter is a rare thing to happen. Traditionally, matador (a man fighting a bull) is usually wears a golden suit made from silk.

Some centuries ago, quite rarely, if the public or the matador believed that the bull has fought bravely, they were allowed to express the will to a president bullring to grant the bull an indulto before it was being killed. Nevertheless, now and then Spanish style of bullfighting is normally fatal for the bull and leads to its death.

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