Mexican Bullfight in Mexico City
Mexican Bullfight in Mexico City.
At 17:30 we headed to Plaza de Toros in Mexico City for the bullfight. Plaza de Toros is the world’s largest bullring with seating for 41,262 gore fanatics. I had been to a Mexican bullfight (‘Corridas de Toros’ in Spanish) once before in Mazatlan when I flew in for the millennium. I said I would never attend one again, but it has been nearly 17 years and my friends Clint and Irmante have never previously been to the event. It is horrible, but it is the culture here.
Walking up to the arena was great because there were so many vendor selling incredible things they have created. Horse hoof ashtrays are pretty amazing. So are cow hoof wine bottles…
There were six fights and six bulls killed at the event. It is amazing how it works psychologically to foreigners of the sport. The first kill is terrible and you can not believe you are watching it happen. You feel sick to your stomach and hate humanity for what we do to animals. The second kill is pretty bad but it is easier. The third you hardly even notice and by the forth, you are so involved that you find yourself cheering with the Mexican bullfight crowd. It is a very strange sequence, emotionally.
After the matador has tired the toro some more, two horse-mounted men carrying massive spears enter the ring. The horses are covered in padding and blindfolded so that they cannot see to be afraid of the bull when it immediately charges at them. As the bull rams the horse, the man on horseback stabs to drive the spear 20cm into the top of the shoulders of the bull in two separate places. The bull does not seem to notice the stabbing at first as he is concentrating on his charge into the horse.
Two times out of six, the bull was able to get himself under the horse’s underbelly (also padded) to knock the horse and rider to the ground. It is difficult for the horse to get back to his feet again after being knocked to his side because of all the armour/padding protection. Two or three men are needed to get the horse back to its feet.
Now that the bull has two massive punctures in his shoulders and his leaking blood covers his front legs, the matador runs past him and shoves poisonous darts into the wound. It is awful. The matador plays with the bull with his cape. The entire crowd yells ‘Ole’ together as the bull runs at the cape.
Once the dying bull is completely exhausted, the matador collects his sword from the side of the ring.
When the matador finds the right moment while tormenting the bull with the cape, the matador will run at the bull and stab the one-meter sword into the top of the bull’s shoulders, burying it to the hilt on the first try if gets it right.
The bull, having a one-meter sword inside of him is about to die and several matadors come out at that moment to confuse the dying bull until he falls down.
Once the bull is down, an older matador comes out with a knife that he shoves into the back of the bull’s brain through the back of his head and rotates the knife around until the bull stops moving. Then a man comes out with a gorgeous team of horses. Makeshift wooden-wheels are placed under the dead bull’s neck, and the team of horses drag the dead bull out of the arena, likely to the MacDonald’s meat plant. Arena workers re-powder the lines on the grounds as others rake the blood into the ground while an entire orchestra performs songs. Another bull is released into the arena and the whole process happens again.
People were yelling rude things at the matadors when they were unhappy with the performance.
The acoustics of the Mexican bullfight arena are so good that one can hear the matador talking to the bull during the match.
You can hear individual voices from the other side of the 41,262 seat arena yelling at the matador and if you speak too loud to the person next to you the entire Mexican bullfight arena “SHHHHH’s!” you. Drunk guys high in the stands were yelling, “One, two, three, four, kill the bull!” in Spanish in unison at the matador.
The fifth matador did such an amazing job of killing the bull that he received a standing ovation from the Mexican bullfight crowd. When it was time for the kill, he ran at the bull and buried the sword to the hilt in the bull’s shoulders on the first try. The stabbing of the sword was so perfectly precise that the bull went down immediately and was dead in an instant with much less suffering. The crowd rose to their feet in unison and even us three foreigners felt pride in the matador.
The fans were going crazy in the Mexican bullfight stadium to saluting the matador and waving white scarves. It was almost majestic. The fans were throwing their hats at the matador, which he would throw back to them from the arena ring. The matador was throwing flowers at the fans. People tossed traditional leather satchels of wine at him that he would drink from and then throw the satchels back. Some fans ran down to the ring to touch the matador and he was kissing men on the foreheads. It was incredible how the entire arena reacted to the matador. My body was covered in goosebumps at the arena response.
As we went to leave the stadium after the sixth fight was completed, the matador with the perfect kill was being carried out of the Mexican bullfight arena on the shoulders of the fans. Incredible.
A Mexican bullfight, and I suppose all bullfights for that matter, makes for a really emotional rollercoaster. It will make you feel sick to your stomach, it will make you feel sad, it will make you feel empty, it will make you feel disgust, it will make you feel a sense of pride, and it will make the hair on your arms stand up.
A Mexican bullfight is not for everyone, but there is no doubt that it is an intense event…
*The video of some of the fight. Graphic…