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Bullfighting in Spain became popular at the end of the 18th century. It is certainly one of the best-known Spanish customs as well as an important part of the country’s history and culture.
Ernest Hemingway was a master using bullfighting terms and described a corrida as “the only art in which the artist is in danger of death and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the fighter’s honor” in Death in the Afternoon.
When referring to bullfighting, Spain is the mecca. In fact, bullfights are considered a quintessential element of the country’s culture. As a visitor, it’s a unique experience in which you’ll get caught up in the spectacle, color and crowd noise as soon as the spectacle begins.
The bullfight awards, or trofeos, indicate that the matador has achieved a successful fight (faena). They are very important for the matador because they are proof of their bravery and art while performing the fight.
During the third Spain bullfighting stage, the tercio de muerte, the matador faces an incredibly difficult challenge and the most dangerous moment of the corrida. He must confront the fighting bull and kill it elegantly.
The second stage of any Spain bullfight is the tercio de banderillas.
The authentic Spanish bullfighting is a ritual that starts with the paseíllo and is followed then by three different stages or tercios (can be translated as thirds). Each one starts and ends after a member of the music band blows a bugle.
The bullfight participants are always the same and you will easily recognize them by looking at how they are dressed. Each one plays a role during the corrida and all must be part of the paseíllo, a parade that takes place at the beginning of the spectacle in which the participants are presented to the crowd.
Bull fighting in Spain has been at the heart of culture for centuries. From the prehistoric bull worship and sacrifice to the modern bullfights, this is probably one of the best-known popular customs around the world.
Trying to get bullfight tickets can be a challenging task. Depending on the bullfight you want to attend, you risk waiting in line for hours, not being able to communicate with the ticket office staff and explain them where you want to seat or ending up with not very good tickets with poor visibility…