Skip to main content Text Only version of this page
BBC
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index
Games
Games
Chat
Chat
Vote
Vote
Win
Win
Quiz
Quiz
Club
Club
 Homepage
 UK
 World
 Sport
 Music
 TV/Film
 Animals
 Sci/Tech
 Weather
 Pictures
 Find Out
 The Team

Contact Us
Help
Teachers





  Bullfighting
How did bullfighting start?
In which countries does bullfighting take place?
What happens in a bullfight?
Arguments for bullfighting
Arguments against bullfighting

 
What happens in a bullfight?

There are usually six separate fights and each lasts around 20 minutes. Like a play, bullfighting is all about characters and the main characters are the cavaleiros, matadors and forcardas.

The Portuguese festival begins when a team of riders, called cavaleiros, dressed in grand costumes, enter the ring.

The horsemen target the bulls with spears and darts tipped with what looks like brightly-coloured tinsel. The cavaleiros are the stars of the show and are applauded as they dodge the bulls' charges.


A cavaleiro - a horseman who targets the bull

Next come matadors who use a coloured cape, called a muleta, to direct the bulls around the ring.

Although the capes are usually bright red, all cattle are actually colour-blind. Red is often used to try to hide any trace of blood.

In Spain, the matador plays the leading role, killing the bull to the cheers of the crowd. But in Portugal the matadors make way for the forcardas.

A team of eight men called forcardas then show their bravery by standing in front of a bull. One of the team attracts the bull's attention and then it charges at the men.

As bulls can weigh up to half a tonne, it often knocks over one of more of the forcardas.

At the end of a fight in Portugal, the bull is dragged out of the ring and is usually taken to a butcher to be killed.


E-mail this page to a friend



   back next   
Full Bullfighting section
PRESS PACK
WATCH THIS EXTRA
GUIDE TO BULLFIGHTING
LAURA'S DIARY
VOTE
MESSAGE BOARD
QUIZ
YOUR COMMENTS
Full Extras Section
© BBC Back to top^^
Homepage | UK | World | Sport | Music | TV/Film | Animals | Sci/Tech | Weather
Pictures | Find Out | The Team | Games | Chat | Vote | Win | Quiz | Club