The Spanish Language Blog

Bullfighting in Spain. Some consider it a wonderful Spanish tradition, and others abhor it. Bullfighting is very popular in Spain, and for many Spaniards it is a cultural activity. They see it as a kind of artistic expression and are proud of it.

Bullfighting is one of the oldest Spanish traditions. Centuries ago, the first fight already took place. The bulls are first put in a pasture for 6 to 7 years so they can eat a lot. They have (usually) had a nice life, unlike other animals. This bull meat is therefore considered the best of the best. When they are ready, they are taken from the pasture and have to perform.

A fight takes place between bullfighters, also called toreros, and a bull. This fight is made up of several phases, with each torero having his own phase. It begins with chasing the bull so that it becomes wild. Next, riders on horses enter the arena and stab the bull a few times. What follows is the matador who carries 2 sticks and uses them to poke the bull in the neck.

Then you hear a trumpet and the torero gets a knife. The idea is that he stabs the knife between the shoulders of the bull straight into the heart, otherwise he dies immediately. If this does not happen, he will continue to live and thus suffer for several minutes.

Basically, it's very simple. The one who stays alive wins. It is a matter of life or death where the toreros are given the task of making it a spectacular show. The torero who kills the bull is also called matador. If the audience thinks the matador did a good job, he gets loud applause and "olé!" is shouted. And, if it was really very good, the audience waves white scarves or other items. If the audience is dissatisfied, they stay frosty quiet or they start shouting.

In Seville you will find one of the oldest bullrings built specifically for bullfighting, the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza. The beginning of the construction of this bullring was made in 1758. Therefore, Seville is known as the best place to watch a bullfight.

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