Bullfighting is one of Spain’s beloved traditions – it epitomizes the grace, fiery passion and boldness that is typically Spanish. Although some already consider this a politically correct activity, it cannot be denied that it was a vital part of Spain’s rich culture.
Bullfighting is not just a sport – it already is an art. The bullfight is like a dance – with the matador’s graceful, ballet-like motions, the movement of the cape and the charging of the bull. The matador has to learn these movements through extensive training, usually starting from childhood.
The corrida (or bullfighting match) is usually made up of three matadors and six bulls. The corrida lasts for around an hour and a half. It is made of three stages – acted on by the picados, the banderilleros and lastly, by the matador.
The bull is let out of the pen and this signals the start of the bullfight. First, the picadors, come out, resplendent in their costumes are riding on horses. They carry lances that they will plunge into the toro’s (bull’s) flanks and neck. A judge declares how long this is to last. Next, come the banderilleros, who go on foot and carry colorful banderillas (lances). They should poke these into the bull’s neck in order to lower it head and to prepare it for the coming of the matador.
The last and most exciting part of the match is the coming of the matador. The matador is really the star of the show. Dressed in the traje de luces (“suit of lights”), the matador enters the scene accompanied by the shouts of the audience. The traje de luces is a very beautiful costume. It is composed of the silk jacket (intricately embroidered with gold), tight trousers and a bicorne hat.
The matador is judged by his bravery (his calm and relaxed manner in the face of danger and death and his ability to get near the bull) and his grace in moving the cape.
The moment of truth (the faena) is when the bull has been weakened but it is also the time when the bull is enraged and is in a killing mood. The matador faces this angry bull with just his cape and sword. He deftly moves the cape, getting closer and closer to the bull. Then at last, he goes for the kill. The matador stabs the bull right between the shoulders.
Interested? You can go to the following bullfighting rings.
Plaza de Toros De Marbella
Address: El Toreo, S.L., Plaza de Toros
Telephone: +34 952772444
Plaza de Toros de Andalucia
Address: Avenida Manolete, Nueva Andalucia
Telephone: +34 95 2810389
The Plaza de Toros De Marbella in El Toreo first opened in 1964 and the first matadors where Pedro Martinez, Manuel Benitez (el Cordobes) and Francisco Camino performed. This bullring seats 9,500. This bullring is at the northern end of the Old Quarter.