Tuesday, May 3, 2011



This week was the beginning of the bullfighting season here in Sevilla and as a cultural experience API bought tickets for all of us to attend one.  It was also recommended that we wear something a little nicer than everyday attire...which turned into all of us dressing up in a southern belle fashion as we were going to a horserace or something.  As we went into the bullring and took our seats I was excited and nervous.  I had seen parts of a bullfight on TV and was interested in experiencing this extremely Spanish tradition, however I was not sure what to expect or how I would feel once I was watching it live.

A bullfight consists of three teams each lead by a single matador and a total of six bulls are used.  Each round starts off with the bull entering the ring and being “taunted” by the matador and his team with their pink capes.  Next, after the trumpet fanfare that signifies the start of each round, a man on horse back come into the arena to picar the bull (poke it with a sharp stick in order to make it more angry for the matador) a couple of times before exiting.  In the next round the assistant matadors run at the bull with two pointed sticks (no cape) and stick them into the bulls back while trying to avoid getting skewered by the bull itself.  Finally in the last round, the matador “fights” with the bull before killing it by putting a sword in the spinal cord of the bull.  If the matador put on a good fight/show they could receive one ear from the bull, if it was really great they could get both ears, and an amazing performance will get both ears and the tail of the bull.

When the first bull was killed I was a little shocked and disturbed, however how they removed the bull from the ring was even worse.  The dead bull is harnessed behind a team of horses and is dragged all around the ring.  Although many API students left after a few bulls I decided to stay until the end and get the full experience of a bullfight once and never again.

Me and my roommates before entering the bullring.

The teams of matadors entering the bullring.

One of the matadors warming up.

The first bull entering the ring.


Dragging the bull out of the arena.

In the stands.

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