Currently, bullfighting is very popular in Spain with thousands of people flocking to the local arena every week. According to estimates, the annual total number of people watching bullfighting in Spain reaches one million.
Bullfighting was originally a sport for the aristocracy and players will compete on horseback. However, King Felipe V has banned the participation of them.
After the ban was issued, bullfighting became a sport for civilians and because they could not afford to buy horses, they developed the skill to dodge bulls with their feet. This important transition took place around 1724.
First, cows will be released into the arena. The bullfighters, called Matador, will then watch their assistants wave the yellow and bright red cape in front of the bull to lure it into attack. The warriors perform this observation step to know the characteristics and mood of the bull before entering the official battle.
When the match started, the trumpet sounded, many gladiators called Picadores would weaken the cow by stabbing spears into it. This process takes about 10 minutes.
After that, another trumpet sounded and Matador began the faena phase – the final stage of the bullfight. The faena stage is the most beautiful and skillful part of the fight, it requires the Matador to prove his courage and artistry.
Basically, bullfighting is considered the dance of death. Just one wrong move, the Matador will pay with his life. Their job is to make the match dramatic and interesting for the audience.
The Matador can receive rewards and titles from the president based on their skills when playing with cows. The crowd of spectators often encouraged the president to give the title to the heroes by waving white handkerchiefs.
They would continue to wave until the warriors threw the received title to the audience. In response, the crowd will throw flowers into the ring to appreciate the performance of the heroes.