Bullfighting - A Big Attraction in Spain

 

Bullfighting is a great event that attracts many tourists to Spain and Spanish speaking countries. There it is an important element of culture and has a great tradition. Modern bullfighting goes back to the 1700s when the first bullrings were built in Spain.

A bullfight takes place in bullring. The matador, or bullfighter, has special training and is often a national hero in his homeland. The bulls used for bullfighting are very powerful, wild animals that are bred to attack. They weigh up to 500 kg or even more. Today many animal activists are against bullfighting because bulls are treated in a cruel way and have to suffer pain in the arena. Bullfights can also end with a matador’s death or injury if he is pierced by a bull’s horns.

A bullfight usually consists of six fights. Three matadors with their teams fight two bulls each. A bullfight has three acts. After the trumpets sound at the beginning, the bull is let into the ring. The bullfighter waves a colorful cape at the bull and tries to make it attack. During this part he studies the movements of the bull. A picador enters the arena on horseback. He makes the bull weaker by piercing his neck with sharp spikes.

 

In the second act, the assistants of the matador, called banderilleros, come into the ring on foot, run around and throw barbed darts into the animal’s neck to make it even madder.

In the final act the bullfighter is in the ring alone with the bull. He uses a small cape, waves at the bull and lures it into attacking him. He tries to be as close to the bull as possible. Finally, he thrusts his sword into the bull’s neck and kills it. If he succeeds in pushing the sword into the bull’s shoulder blades it dies at once. After the successful performance of the matador the spectators get up and applaud. The bullfighter gets one or maybe even two of the bull’s ears as a reward.

matador and a bull

A matador in the ring with a bull - MarcusObal

 

Words

 

  • attack = to hit someone in a violent way
  • attract = to pull towards; bring to
  • barbed = with one or more curved points
  • breed – bred = to bring animals together so that they can have babies that are very good or strong
  • cape = a piece of cloth that a bullfighter waves
  • close = near
  • consist of = is made up of
  • cruel = brutal
  • injury = to damage a part of your body
  • lure = to make someone do something you want
  • madder = angrier
  • movement = how it moves from one place to another
  • performance = act, show
  • picador = man in a bullfight who rides a horse and weakens a bull by throwing small spears into it
  • pierce = to make a small hole into something with a sharp object
  • reward = prize
  • shoulder blade = one of the two flat bones on each side of your back
  • spectator = a person who watches a fight
  • spike = sharp, metal points
  • succeed = to do well
  • suffer = undergo
  • sword = a weapon with a long pointed blade
  • thrust = push, force
  • weigh = how heavy something is