Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bulls in the Streets!

Here in the Azores, they have bullfights, but they're not like the Spanish ones that many associate with bullfighting. Here, they let bulls loose in the streets, but have them tied onto a rope, and men tease them with umbrellas. (Sounds interesting, doesn't it?) They don't kill the bulls, either. This is called "Tourada a Corda" or "Bulls on a Rope". They have bullfights every day from May to mid-October. All of the villages get many chances to host the bullfight. There has been a few times that we've been trying to drive to a certain place or restaurant, but had to turn around because of the crowds watching a street bullfight.

A little over a week ago, we were on our way somewhere when we noticed a huge crowd in the streets, boarded up doors/gates, and concession stands. A street bullfight was about to take place! We had never seen one before, so we parked, walked to a safe spot, and watched for a little bit. We were behind a high gated wall so we didn't have the best view, and it was hard to take good pics. To "announce" the bull being released from its pen, they fire off a cannon, which really scared the kids, so I actually only watched a few minutes before retreating to the car with them.

They use 3 or 4 bulls during the course of one bullfight; letting the others rest while one is out and about. (In the first photo, the pens are behind the bull). I did feel sorry for the bull, as he looked scared and exhausted. It wasn't something I would have enjoyed watching for very long. They sure love it here though, as every bullfight is very crowded.

Jumping out of the way of the bull... the bull has a helpful red arrow pointing toward it. ;)
Men selling refreshments during the "intermission" between bulls.


Linda said...

So they tease them with umbrellas? LOL! That's much better than killing them, IMHO. What do they sell as refreshments?

What A Dish! said...

Linda, I forgot to mention that in the post- I meant to! The guys w/the baskets were selling potato chips, lollipops, and that's all I remember! There was some street carts selling food, too. Those had local grilled sausages.

Elly Rose said...

I think that the cannons would scare me. You are really experiencing a lot of the culture there.

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Cami @ Creating Myself said...

So glad that in this custom, they don't kill the bulls or I'd have to root for the bulls. ;o)

HoneyB said...

My thought is I don't want to be on the street! lol. I wouldn't mind a sausage though. :p

LadyJayPee said...

I'm ready for you to come back here now. :)