/ bʊlfaɪtɪŋ /
The activity at a bullfight.
The national sport of Spain (where there are more than 400 bullrings), which is also popular in Mexico, Portugal, and much of Latin America. It involves the ritualized taunting of a bull in a circular ring, until its eventual death at the hands of the matador. Originally popular in Greece and Rome, it was introduced into Spain by the Moors in the 11th century.
Picadores on horseback first taunt the bull and wound it with lances before the banderilleros pierce the bull’s neck with darts. The final act, the kill, is performed by the matador, who is armed with a red cape and sword. He teases the bull further with the cape and then kills it by plunging the sword between its shoulder blades. In some parts of France and in Portugal it is illegal to kill the bulls. Opponents of the sport criticize its cruelty, and efforts have been made to outlaw it.