Bullfighting Facts

Bullfighting Facts
Bullfighting is a traditional cultural event, and even considered an art form by some, in which a bull or bulls are fought in a ring by a bullfighter. Because there are no competition elements between people, it is not technically considered to be a sport, despite being referred to as such by some. The bullfighter is a professional torero and the one who actually kills the bull is called a matador (the most senior bullfighter). Bullfighting is most common in Spanish countries such as Spain, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, and Portugal, but it is also practiced in some areas of southern France. Mexico City is home to the largest bullfighting venue in the world called the Plaza Mexico, while the oldest venue is in Seville, Spain, dating back to the late 1700s.
Interesting Bullfighting Facts:
A bullfight, or 'corrida' has three stages or 'tercios'. They are each announced by the sound of a trumpet.
Prior to the first stage of a corrida, a parade called a 'paseillo' takes place. This parade involves the participants of the bullfight entering the arena and saluting whichever dignitary is presiding over the bullfight.
Stage 1 of a bullfight is called the Tercio de Varas (third of lances). During this stage the bull enters the ring and is tested to allow the matador to observe how it behaves when charging and how fierce it is. Two picadors then enter the ring on horses and stab the bull's neck when it charges. This causes the bull to lower its head and also helps to make it less dangerous to the matador.
Stage 2 of a bullfight is called the Tercio de banderillas (third of flags). During this stage three banderilleros try to stick two banderillas (sharp sticks) into the shoulders of the bull, which makes the bull angrier but also makes it weaker.
Stage 3 of a bullfight is called the Tercio de Muerte (third of death). During this stage the matador again enters the ring, carrying a sword and a red cape hanging over a wooden rod. The matador performs a series of passes, ending when the bull is killed with the sword thrust between its shoulder blades and into the heart.
The matador has only 15 minutes to kill the bull timed from the moment of the first pass.
In some cases when a bull performs so well that the crowd waves their handkerchiefs prior to the kill, the dignitary presiding over the bullfight can pardon the bull. Once pardoned it cannot be used in another bullfight because it would be too dangerous. The matador is given the great honor of freeing the bull.
Because bullfighting is a dangerous sport, many toreros or matadors have been gored by the bull.
Because of the violent nature of bullfighting it has begun to be prohibited in some countries. Many animal rights groups are fighting to put an end to bullfighting because it tortures the bulls and the horses that are used in the events.
The number of bullfights taking place around the world are declining each year because of public opposition.

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