Puerto Banus Marbella
Guide to Bullfighting
The bullfighting season in Spain is April to October. Out of season many bullfighters travel to Mexico and Columbia. There are many bullfights that are only announced locally a couple of weeks before the fight. Look out for bullfight posters locally or buy a bullfighting magazine, one to remember is '6Toros6'.
Spanish matadors, kneel in arena chapels and pray to La Virgen de la Macarena to protect them. At exactly 4pm, a bugle will blow and matadors will go forth to meet their destiny. Moments later, a gate swings open and a two thousand pound bull bred to kill will come charging in.The matadors stare either straight ahead or down at the dirt.Many continue to mouth.silent prayers. Earlier, following the matadors and the banderillos, have come the picadors on padded horses, lances pointed skyward. As they draw close to the barrera, they all tip their hats to the dignitaries,then slide behind the shoulder-high protective barricades that shield them off from the arena itself. The matadors, their Trajes de Luces sparkling in the sun, confer with their managers while swinging their capes to test the wind.The banderilleros, who will be the first to test the bull, move to the opposite side of the ring and along with the senior matador, await the first bull. When the beast finally enters, the capeadores wave their capes at him, trying to incite a charge. But they must never "pass" the bull; that is for the matador only.Having watched how the bull charges, and whether he hooks left or right, the matador now moves into the ring. Now he must face the bull alone. The "corrida" has begun.
Bullfighting has often been called Spain's favorite sport. But to call it this is wrong for two reasons; first soccer called football in Spain is the most popular sport; and second bullfighting cannot really be called a sport.It should be called a spectacle, an exhibition, or a performance.A dangerous performance that a slight mistake might quite likely cause the bullfighter an injury or be killed.
A bullfight is not really a contest between a man and a bull. Actually it is a contest between a man and himself. The audience goes to the ring to see a man conquer his own fear of the heavy animal and take as many chances to get as close as possible. The man that most gracefully executes the most daring maneuvers becomes the star.
Bullfighting is one of the few ways a poor person can become rich and famous in Spain and Latin America. But, for every successful Matador there are hundreds who have fallen by the wayside and are forgotten. Many do not have the necessary grace and skill. Some are crippled by the bulls, and some are killed.
One of the reasons that Spain has been the leading place for bullfighting is that the fighting bull first lived there. Bullfighting cannot be done with ordinary animals. It requires a special animal called Toro bravo or Toro de lidia. For century's herds of these fierce bulls roamed wild over Spain.The Arabs in Spain helped make bullfighting popular around the 12th century. In those days the spectacle consisted of a skillful horseman killing a wild bull with a lance while guiding his horse so as to avoid injury both to his mount and to himself. Bullfighting quickly became very popular and it is still popular today.
The first thing the audience sees when he goes to a bullfight is a parade of the gaily-dressed bullfighters, and their horses while the aficionados or fans cheer. All the performers in the ring are called toreros. The matador is the star of the show. The banderilleros are bullfighters on foot whose purpose is to stab the bull with banderillas/pointed flags to tire the bull. The picadores enter on horseback whose purpose is also to weaken the bull by pricking the animal with their lances around the neck area. Finally, the matador goes out with his cape to show the audience his bravery and techniques. He carries with him a small cape called la muleta . This is the most dangerous time of the fight, in spite of the fact that the bull is tired. Killing the bull which is called "the moment of truth" is the most dangerous maneuver of all. The matador must run at the bull at the same time the bull runs at him, and plunge the sword between the shoulder blades. When this is done correctly, the bull will drop over dead almost instantly.
PLACE AND CONCLUSION
The best bullfights are held in Madrid, Seville, Valencia, and Malaga during the Spring and Summer. Many men have reached their dream and become great bullfighters; some women have tried to be recognized as great bullfighters but they are still trying to be accepted by the audience and by a male dominated profession.