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Bullfighting is a tradition in many countries including Spain, Portugal, parts of southern France, India and Tanzania, and Latin American countries. While some forms are sometimes considered to be a blood sport, in some countries, for example Spain, it is defined as an art form or culture.

Where did bullfighting originate?

The spectacle of bullfighting has existed in one form or another since the ancient days. A wall painting at Knossos in Crete, dating from about 2000 BC proves existence of bullfighting. It shows male and female acrobats confronting a bull and grabbing its horns.

Bullfights were popular spectacles in ancient Rome but it was in the Iberian Peninsula that these contests were fully developed. The Moors from North Africa who overran Andalusia in AD 711 changed bullfighting significantly.

The first bullfight, according to another story, was held in honor of King Alfonso VIII's coronation in 1133. It was called a "corrida" then. These events eventually became popular for celebrating important events.

What happens during a bullfight?

Six bulls, to be killed by three matadors, are usually required for one afternoon’s corrida and each bull lasts about 15 minutes. At the appointed time, the three matadors, each followed by their assistants, the banderilleros and the picadors, march into the ring to the accompaniment of traditional paso doble.

After, the animal weighing more than 460 kg is released. The bull instinctively goes for the cloth because it is a large, moving target, not because of its colour as many people think since bulls are colour-blind.

If a matador is injured, another replaces him, and the bull is killed at the end of each match. Few times in history happened that the matador was killed by a bull and few times bull even survived the whole act and then lived a calm life. The matadors are considered to be heroes when it comes to bullfighting.

What do Matadors wear?

The matadors of the Spanish corrida, or bullfight, wear a ceremonial outfit called traje de luces, or "suit of lights," and a montera, which is a traditional folk hat. The red cape that the bullfighters have is a muleta, and the sword used to kill the bull is called is the estoque.

Bullfights in Sevilla

The corrida season is from Easter Sunday to 12 October, with around 20 fights in total. Many celebrated matadors appear during Feria week at the end of April. Other important corridas take place on 10 June, 15 August, the last weekend in September and 12 October. Fights usually take place on Sunday evenings. Tickets for bullfights cost from 8 to 70 euro.

Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla

This building is a 12,000-capacity bullring in Seville. During the annual Seville Fair, it is the site of one of the most well-known bullfighting festivals in the world. It is a part of the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla, a noble guild established for traditional cavalry training.

The ring itself is considered one of the city's most enjoyable tourist attractions and is certainly one of the most visited. If you are coming during the months when no fights are happening, you can still see the Bullring for 4 euros.

Sevillanos rave about bullfights. The Feria de Abril is one of the most exciting events held in the city. And that includes more than 2 weeks of bullfigthing! However, the younger generation considers bullfighting barbaric and is many times protesting against these happenings in front of the bullring.

So, what do you think? Would you like to see one these shows?