Introduction to Bullfighting in Spain

Bullfighting, commonly referred to as ‘corrida de toros’ in Spanish, is a traditional Spanish spectacle, in which a bull is baited in the bullring by a Torero (the leader of the group of fighters, generally the one who kills the bull). This event is a historical Spanish ritual, which has been prominent in Spanish culture since approximately fifth century A.D., when it was introduced during the War of Reconquista.

Traditionally, Bullfighting was seen as an expressive art form, where bullfighters were identified as gladiators, much like in Ancient Rome, and proved their courageousness by slaughtering its enemy, the bull. In this sense, bullfighting was seen as more of a religious ritual, using the bull as an animal sacrifice to their god. Although similar fighting practices are still done today, the purpose behind bullfighting has drastically changed, with individuals being more intrigued with the gruesome slaying of a bull than the traditional customs that bullfighting signified.

Bullfighting has become an extremely controversial issue in Spain; some argue the event is a culturally relevant tradition, helping to signify Spanish artistry, while others advocate for the unethical killing of a bull for entertainment purposes. Though extremely controversial, bullfighting is one of the most well-known Spanish customs, with millions traveling to Spain each year, to watch the events.