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One of Spain?s oldest national sports and also the one which is loved by many people is also the most controversial. Opponents to bullfighting have fought many passionate battles with the sports devotees over the years as they generally condemn the barbaric nature of the way in which the bulls are slaughtered and to their minds dehumanising a so-called civilized society. Supporters on the other hand consistently claim that bullfighting is nothing more than a spiritual art form depicting man's struggle against nature and it is generally regarded as a good day out.

The regional government in Barcelona Myles Garrett Limited Jersey , which considers itself as one of the cultural centres of Europe, gained widespread support for their proposal in 2004 to become an anti-bullfighting city as they considered that the sport tarnished their image in the eyes of the world.

The campaign has since gained momentum but there are still a vast band of followers who believe that the time-honoured traditions should be maintained and that to ban bullfighting is unimaginable.

Why is bullfighting so popular in Spain?

It is widely thought that Spain?s early settlers, some 4000 years ago, slaughtered bulls in ritual sacrifices to their Gods and that when the Moors invaded Spain in the 8th century they introduced some type of man versus bull battles. Legend has it that El Cid, a Spanish hero of the 11th century, was the first man to slay a bull in an organised bullfight.

Bull jousting was developed in medieval times by the Spanish aristocracy where men would pit their wits against the rampaging bulls from horseback. Not to be left out of the ?fun? Nick Chubb Limited Jersey , peasants of the time developed their own versions of this pastime, only in their version the man was on foot. Sometime during the eighteenth century, bullrings and organized events similar to the ones we have come to recognize today became ingrained into Spanish culture.

Bullfighting was brought to the attention of the world by the words of Ernest Hemmingway, an early 20th century American novelist. His best selling novels, ?The Sun Also Rises? and ?Death in the Afternoon? immortalized the sport as he described it as ?man?s ultimate challenge?.

Against such a rich history, it can be understood why bullfighting is so popular in Spain and with this in mind Denzel Ward Limited Jersey , some may even say it should be condoned. Almost every large city and many of the smaller towns and villages all over Spain have a bullring with the organized bullfight being the focal point of fiestas (local and national) held throughout the year.

About the bullfight

Only bulls which are from a specific ancient bloodline are bred for fighting with Spain now being the only country in the world preserving this particular species.

A bullfight normally takes place in the early afternoon or evening with six of the fighting bulls being slain by up to three matadors and their helpers, the picador (horseman) and the banderillos. A series of elaborate moves and daring passes are performed by the matador before the final act of thrusting his sword between the bull?s shoulder blades. If the audience approve of his performance they will wave white handkerchiefs as a signal to the fight president to present one (or both) of the bulls ears to the matador as a trophy.

Seat prices in the bullring vary depending upon their location. As most bullfights start in the early afternoon when the sun is at it?s highest, seats that are in the shade demand the highest prices so if you?re in the sun, it?s advisable to wear a hat and sunglasses to avoid sunstroke.

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