Running with the Bulls in the Azores

f24a4-fotolia_90455784_xsTerceira, Sao Miguel and Graciosa islands are well-known for the bullfight by the rope (Touradas á corda) that take place every year in the Azores. This very special event is unique to the Azores, and has been practiced since 16th Century. From May to October there will be about 250 events in the Azores where there will be friendly running with the bulls and outdoor festivals.83a19-image_4The bull is let loose with a very long rope around its neck, usually at the main road in a small village or in an outdoor arena. Before every bull gets out of the wooden crate, there will be a small rocket/ Fireworks launched  that indicates, that the game is ready to begin. The bull is guided by several experienced men, keeping a grip on the rope. The whole idea is, that the local young men now try to get as close to the bull as they dare, teasing the bull which is getting agitated. All this game is very amusing and dangerous, and in a way also an attempt for the local boys to impress the local girls. The event is a fun and safe event since the bull is enclosed usually in an arena and always has a number of men holding the rope. After a while the bull is taken back to the wooden crate that it arrived in, and another rocket will be launched; announcing a break in the game.

Postcard from 1901 in Terceira Island showing the traditional Bull Fight

Now it’s time to move around, have something delicious to eat, a drink (or several), and enjoy the festivities that are taking place. It is truly an amazing experience to celebrate in the village or town when they are celebrating their parishes patron saint where you get a true taste of the Azorean spirit and culture.Tourada_a_cordTerceiraThis is an outstanding local event, and attracts many people both locals and tourists. As a tourist you should arrive in due time. Find a secure place with a good view. Usually there are a total of 3-4 bulls in every event. To find out where and when this event take place, ask the tourist office or at the local bar. Every local knows.






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