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The Bullfights for Fallas

Bullfighting is Spain’s oldest and best loved sport, particularly here in Valencia.

It is also its most controversial national sport.

The dispute between its supporters and opponents has been almost as hard fought and passionate as the fight to the death between matador and bull.

Aficionados will tell you that it is a high art form rather than a sport and represents man’s struggle against nature and his own internal demons. Animal rights activists both in Spain and around the world continue to condemn bullfighting as an anathema in a civilised society but millions of Spaniards see the bullfight as just a great day out.

The Bullfight
In a corrida (an afternoon or evening fight) it is usual for six of these fighting bulls to be slaughtered. The fight involves three matadors with their band of helpers – the picador horsemen, who lance the bulls and the banderillos who stab them with barbed spikes.

The Bulls are specially bred from an ancient bloodline to fight. Spain is now the only country in the world to breed this particular species of “toro bravo”.

The final act of the three-part corrida involves a series of intricate daredevil moves and passes by the matador before he makes his final lethal thrust between the bull’s shoulder blades. If the spectators approve of the matador’s performance they wave white handkerchiefs to signal to the fight’s president that he should reward their hero with a trophy – one or both of the bull’s ears and/or its tail.

Oh, but you don't have to look at
the tragic part of it.

You don't look at the death aspect: but you look at what happens before that, at the bullfighting, where you slow the bull down, you break the bull and once you have done that you can try and show your artistry in front of the bull. It’s always been said that a bullfighter cannot know fear, only respect. Let's say that someone who is fearless - if you are not afraid of something it is because you don't know just how dangerous it is, and that makes it.... you are not afraid, it is a crazy thing, isn't it?

Luis Mariscal - Matador, talking to Robert Elms, Bullfighting Aficionado

Plaza De Toros Valencia

Designed by architect Sebastián Monleón the Plaza de Toros first saw use in May 1851. The design is based a Roman theater with a Doric Simple architectural style. The bullring structure is actually a 48-sided circle with the bullring being 52 meters in diameter. It currently seats just over 12,000

Bullfight terms and words

The Building

Plaza de Toros - Bullring
Toril - Enclosure for the bulls
Puerta grande - The main door to the arena
Gradas - Highest seats at the back of the ring (cheapest seats)
Barreras - Front seats
Sol/Sombra Sun/Shade - the choice as to where you sit
 

The Fighters, the Equipment and the Animals

Corrida - A Bullfighting show
Muleta - A small red cloth stretched over a stick (Palo)
Paseillo - The parade of fighters at the beginning
Matador - The top bullfighter
Picador - Fighter to weaken the bull
Novilladas - Beginners fights
Rejoneadores - Horse-mounted fighters
Capote - The red cape
Banderillas - Barbed darts on coloured shafts forced into the bull's shoulders
Espada - The matador's sword also called the Estoque
Puntilla
- A dagger that is stabbed into the base of the bull's skull
Rejon - a metre and a half stick with a dagger on the end used by fighters on horseback
Novillo - Young Bull
Novilla - Young Cow
Eral - a Bull of between 1 and 2 years old
Toro - A fully grown Bull
Vaca - A Cow

FALLAS 2010 BULLFIGHTS TIMETABLE

07 March Saturday
Novillada Picada
Matadors
Sergio Cerezos
Sergio Serrano
Pedro Marin

08 March Sunday
Corrida de Toros
Matadors
Angel de la Rosa
Tomás Sánchez
Paúl Abadia SERRANITO

09 March Monday
Novillada sin Picadores
Matadors
Emilio Huertas
Jesús Chover
Juan Cervera

10 March Tuesday
Novillada Picada
Matadors
Adrian de Torres
Carlos Durán
Antonio Hernández

11 March Wednesday
Novillada Picada
Matadors
Miguel Giménez
Luis Miguel Casares
Rafael Castellanos

12 March Thursday
Corrida de Toros
Matadors
José Pacheco EL CALIFA
José Calvo
Morenito de Aranda

13 March Friday
Corrida de Toros
Matadors
Salvador Vega
Luis Bolívar
Ruben Pinar

14 March Saturday
Corrida de Toros
Matadors
Finito de Córdoba
Julián López EL JULI
David Fandila EL FANDI

15 March Sunday
Corrida de Toros
Matadors
Javier Conde
José Tomás
Sebastián Castella

16 March Monday
Corrida de Toros
Matadors
Enrique Ponce
Jose Mª Manzanares
Cayetano

17 March Tuesday
Corrida de Toros
Matadors
Manuel Díaz EL CORDOBËS
Francisco Rivera Ordóñez
César Jiménez

18 March Wednesday
Corrida de Toros
Matadors
Julio Aparicio
Alejandro Talavante
Daniel Luque

19 March Thursday “Matinée
Corrida de Rejones
Matadors
Antonio Domeq
Javier Sanjosé
Álvaro Montes
Sergio Galán
Leonardo Hernández
Joao Moura Caetano

19 March Thursday
Corrida de Toros
Matadors
Luis Francisco Esplá
Enrique Ponce
Vicente Barrera

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