Reuters

Is one of Spain's most famous traditions fading away?

The Spanish are rarely without a good party. The southern region of Andalucia alone has more than 3,000 annual events, from pilgrimages to fairs to festivals.

Among the most famous are the country's annual bull fights (topped off by the running of the bulls, during which bulls are released into the streets every morning for a week; thrill-seekers run in front of them and try to avoid getting gorred).

But this year marks the first time key Spanish cities will be without the beasts. In 2011, Catalonia banned bullfighting, though pro-fighters are trying to overturn the rule. The fights were a boon to the city's tourism industry, bringing in thousands of fans from around the country.

But already, the tradition is beginning to fade. Every year, fewer Spaniards attend (the number dropped by 34 percent between 2007 and 2010). According to Reuters:

"I don't know anyone my age who would go to a fight. It's not a Catalan tradition but an Andalusian or Extramadurian one. The fact that the bull is treated so badly even before the fight should override any tradition anyway," said Laia Gomez, 31, a Barcelona customer service worker.

Younger Spaniards do not know the names of top-drawer bullfighters and most struggle to explain to a foreigner the intricacies and rules of the tradition.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

  2. Equity

    Berlin Builds an Arsenal of Ideas to Stage a Housing Revolution

    The proposals might seem radical—from banning huge corporate landlords to freezing rents for five years—but polls show the public is ready for something dramatic.

  3. A gun-control rally in Pittsburgh's Market Square, Saturday, March 24, 2018.
    Equity

    Inside Pittsburgh's Battle Over Gun Control Laws

    Pittsburgh could be the bellwether city in Pennsylvania, defying state law to pass gun control ordinances, but first it has to get past its own district attorney.

  4. Two men plant a young tree in a lot in Detroit.
    Environment

    Why Detroit Residents Pushed Back Against Tree-Planting

    Detroiters were refusing city-sponsored “free trees.” A researcher found out the problem: She was the first person to ask them if they wanted them.

  5. A photo of a design maquette for the Obama Presidential Center planned for Jackson Park and designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.
    Design

    Why the Case Against the Obama Presidential Center Is So Important

    A judge has ruled that a lawsuit brought by Chicago preservationists can proceed, dealing a blow to Barack Obama's plans to build his library in Jackson Park.