Bullfighting is a very important part of Andalucia’s festivals. It is an ancient art and was recorded as far back as 2000BC in wall paintings at Crete. It was, however, the Moors who later turned it into an art form.
Some of the best bullfights can be seen in Sevilla and Cordoba, although Malaga, Estepona and Marbella also host some great ones which attract great crowds.
It typically involves 6 bulls, which are bred specifically for these fights, and 3 matadors. Each matador must fight 2 bulls and each fight would typically last about 15 minutes.
The star of the show is of course the matador who will be dressed up in a traje de luces.
When the bull first enters the ring, the banderilleros start by taunting the bull with some pink and gold capes with the aim to start tiring out the bull.
After this the picadores enter on horseback. The picador’s job is to weaken the bull by driving his short-pointed lance into the bull’s neck.
The matador now enters alone to take on the bull on foot, with a red cape. When the bull seems tired out with nothing left to give the matador goes in for the kill. He aims to plunge his sword between the bulls’ shoulder blades!
When in Spain, here are a few words you could possibly hear when attending a bullfight:
Corrida – bullfight
matador – bullfighter
traje de luces – suit of lights