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Bullfighting in Spain became popular at the end of the 18th century. It is certainly one of the best-known Spanish customs as well as an important part of the country’s history and culture.
Ernest Hemingway was a master using bullfighting terms and described a corrida as “the only art in which the artist is in danger of death and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the fighter’s honor” in Death in the Afternoon.
When referring to bullfighting, Spain is the mecca. In fact, bullfights are considered a quintessential element of the country’s culture. As a visitor, it’s a unique experience in which you’ll get caught up in the spectacle, color and crowd noise as soon as the spectacle begins.
During the third Spain bullfighting stage, the tercio de muerte, the matador faces an incredibly difficult challenge and the most dangerous moment of the corrida. He must confront the fighting bull and kill it elegantly.
The second stage of any Spain bullfight is the tercio de banderillas.
The authentic Spanish bullfighting is a ritual that starts with the paseíllo and is followed then by three different stages or tercios (can be translated as thirds). Each one starts and ends after a member of the music band blows a bugle.
Every Spanish bullfight has the same participants and you will easily recognize them by looking at how they are dressed. Each one plays a role during the corrida and all must be part of the paseíllo, a parade that takes place at the beginning of the spectacle in which the participants are presented to the crowd.
Bull fighting in Spain is probably one of the best-known popular customs around the world.
La Maestranza (Seville’s bullring) holds bullfights from March or April until October.