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Cartel para la despedida del torero Cara-Ancha en Sevilla. A bullring is an arena where bullfighting is performed. Bullrings are often associated with Spain, but they can also be found in neighboring countries and the New World. Bullrings are often historic and culturally significant centers that bear many structural similarities to the Roman amphitheatre. The Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla is the oldest bullring in Spain. It is the site of the annual Feria de Abril in Seville, one of the most well-known bullfighting festivals in the world.
The ring itself is considered one of the city's most enjoyable tourist attractions and is certainly one of the most visited. As a stage for bullfighting, it is considered one of the world's most challenging environments because of its history, characteristics, and viewing public, which is considered one of the most unforgiving in all of bullfighting fandom.Bullfighting also known as tauromachy (from Greek ταυρομαχία - tauromachia, "bull-fight"), is a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, some cities in southern France and in several Latin American countries, in which one or more bulls are ritually killed in a bullring as a public spectacle. In Portugal it is illegal to kill a bull in the arena, a nonlethal variant stemming from Portuguese influence is also practiced on the Tanzanian island of Pemba.
The tradition, as it is practiced today, involves professional toreros (toureiros in Portuguese; also referred to as toreadors in English), who execute various formal moves in order to subdue the bull itself. Such maneuvers are performed at close range, and have in some cases resulted in injury or even death of the performer. The bullfight usually concludes with the death of the bull by a sword thrust. In Portugal the finale consists of a tradition called the pega, where men (forcados) try to grab and hold the bull by its horns when it runs at them. Forcados are dressed in a traditional costume of damask or velvet, with long knit hats as worn by the campinos (bull headers) from Ribatejo.
Bullfighting generates heated controversy in many areas of the world, including Mexico, Ecuador, Spain, Peru, and Portugal. Supporters of bullfighting argue that it is a culturally important tradition, while animal rights groups argue that it is a blood sport because of the suffering of the bull and horses during the bullfight.
There are many historic fighting venues in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. The largest venue of its kind is the Plaza de toros México in central Mexico City which seats 48,000 people, and the oldest is the Plaza de Toros de Acho in Lima, Peru, which was built in 1766. Spanish-style bullfighting is called corrida de toros (literally "race of bulls") or la fiesta ("the festival"). In a traditional corrida, three matadores ("killers"), each fight two bulls, each of which is at least four years old and weighs 460–600 kg. Each matador has six assistants — two picadores ("lancers") mounted on horseback, three banderilleros ("flagmen") - who along with the matadors are collectively known as toreros ("bullfighters") - and a mozo de espada ("sword page"). Collectively they comprise a cuadrilla ("entourage").
The modern corrida is highly ritualized, with three distinct stages or tercios ("thirds"), the start of each being announced by a trumpet sound. The participants first enter the arena in a parade, called the paseíllo, to salute the presiding dignitary, accompanied by band music. Torero costumes are inspired by 18th century Andalusian clothing, and matadores are easily distinguished by the gold of their traje de luces ("suit of lights") as opposed to the lesser banderilleros who are also called toreros de plata ("bullfighters of silver"). Next, the bull enters the ring to be tested for ferocity by the matador and banderilleros with the magenta and gold capote ("dress cape"). This is the first stage, the tercio de varas ("the lancing third"), and the matador first confronts the bull with the capote, observing the behaviour of the bull while performing a tanda ("series of passes") to impress the crowd.
Next, a picador enters the arena on horseback armed with a vara ("lance"). To protect the horse from the bull's horns, the horse is surrounded by a peto — a protective mattress-like covering. Prior to 1930, the horse did not wear any protection, and the bull would usually disembowel the horse during this stage. Until this change was instituted, the number of horses killed during a fight was higher than the number of bulls killed. Of course, disembowelment still sometimes occurs today.
At this point, the picador stabs just behind the morillo, a mound of muscle on the fighting bull's neck, weakening the neck muscles and leading to the animal's first loss of blood. The manner in which the bull charges the horse provides important clues to the matador about which side the bull favors. If the picador is successful, the bull will hold its head and horns lower during the following stages of the fight. This makes the bull's charges less dangerous and more reliable, enabling the matador to perform.
In the next stage, the tercio de banderillas ("the third of flags"), the three banderilleros each attempt to plant two banderillas, sharp barbed sticks into the bull's shoudlers. These anger and invigorate the bull who has been tired by his attacks on the horse and the damage he has taken from the lance. Sometimes a matador will place his own banderillas.
In the final stage, the tercio de muerte ("the third of death"), the matador re-enters the ring alone with a small red cape, or muleta, and a sword. It is a common misconception that the color red is supposed to anger the bull, because bulls, in fact, are colorblind. The cape is thought to be red to mask the bull's blood, although this is now also a matter of tradition. The matador uses his cape to attract the bull in a series of passes which serve the dual purpose of wearing the animal down for kill and producing a beautiful display or faena. He may also demonstrate his domination over the bull by caping it especially close to his body. The faena is the entire performance with the muleta and it is usually broken down into tandas, "series", of passes. The faena ends with a final series of passes in which the matador with a muleta attempts to maneuver the bull into a position to stab it between the shoulder blades and through the aorta or heart. The act of thrusting the sword is called an estocada.
If the matador has performed particularly well, the crowd may petition the president to award the matador an ear of the bull by waving white handkerchiefs. If his performance was exceptional, he will award two, and in certain more rural rings a tail can still be awarded. Very rarely, if the public or the matador believe that the bull has fought bravely, they may petition the president of the plaza to grant the bull an indulto before the tercio de muerte. This is when the bull’s life is spared and allowed to leave the ring alive and return to the ranch where it came from. Then the bull becomes a stud bull for the rest of his life. Description Source Wikipedia