What is Bullfighting ?
The English term “bullfighting” is generally used to describe what people familiar with the subject call a “Corrida de Toros”. This customary English translation is a misnomer, as it fails to identify the event clearly among a variety of bull-related events and activities and also falsely places the spectacle in the realm of sport. A Corrida de Toros is a public event in which participants called toreros (bullfighters) enter the ring with a specially bred fighting bull ( toro bravo) moving through a sequence of regulated phases (tercios or thirds) culminating in the matador’s iconic encounter with the bull armed with a red cape (muleta) and in most cases, the bull’s death by sword-thrust. The matador is then judged, based on the artistic merit of his performance.
The Corrida de Toros is the internationally best known example of tauromachy, the sphere of bull-related cultural events and activities held in countries such as Spain, France, Portugal, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador. In the English-speaking world it is often confused or mixed up with related activities such as the running of the bulls (the most popular of these events are the runs held during the yearly San Fermin festival in Pamplona), horseback bullfighting, known as rejoneo, and events such as recortes comptetitions or the French custom of course camarguaise.