Medellin‘s annual bullfighting festival opens this weekend in La Macarena, the city’s 14,000 capacity bullfighting ring.
A bullfight will take place each Saturday at 4PM in La Macarena over five weeks of the festival, now in its 21st year.
Six bulls will face three matadors in each, some of whom have travelled to Colombia from Spain for the event.
An evening bullfight on Friday, February 10 at 7.30PM and a “novijada,” on Sunday February 5, complete the festival billing.
In the novijada a young bull first faces a pair of “picadores” — two men on horseback brandishing lances with which to jab the bull — before the matadors enter the ring. The picadores aim to pierce the muscle on the back of the bull’s neck, to weaken it and prevent it being able to lift its head fully in the next stage.
Tickets for the individual bullfights are on sale from La Macarena ticket offices throughout the festival, and online from Ticket Express, with prices starting at COP $50,000. The festival runs from Saturday January 21 through February 29.
Governor of Antioquia Sergio Fajardo, following in the footsteps of Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro, announced last week that he will not support the bullfighting season in Medellin, the department’s capital, in protest at animal cruelty.