Pomp and pageantry

You really have to experience a Portuguese bloodless bullfight in person to truly appreciate it. No amount of photos and video can convey the atmosphere of this tradition that has been handed down through the generations.

In a small dusty bullring lit with flickering floodlights the show unfolds. Bloodless bullfights are steeped in religious traditions with the Festa of the Holy Ghost but they are also at the core a performance, a form of an entertainment that dates back hundreds of years. With that show comes a pomp and pageantry in colors and motion that have to watched at least once in a lifetime.

While some object to any form of bull fighting I keep my observations confined to the action. The movements are almost a dance with swirling capes and colorful costumes that have their own rhythm and beat.

While bloodless bullfights may not be everyone’s cup of team I feel privileged to have witnessed this performance before like so many other traditions, fades into history.