Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cheongdo Bull Fighting

The village of Cheongdo is about an hour train ride from Busan. Not much goes on in this little farming town, but once a year for a week straight Cheongdo hosts a Bull Fighting competition. People come from near and far to watch these huge animals go head to head in the arena. Before attending this festival, we looked up the rules for this type of bull fighting. There are a few different techniques for fighting, but only one way the bulls can win a fight: by being the last one to turn their backsides to the other bull.

Here is the outside of the arena. There were local vendors selling all kinds of food and junk (really, just random, needless things). There were also many performers throughout the day inside and outside.

This was the arena in which the fighting took place. It was inside with a large retractable roof, and the temperature was not too bad inside. It began to rain later in the afternoon, so we were very blessed to have cover.

Each bull has its own trainer. These are usually farmers in the area who raise the bulls for this specific reason. The trainers are in the red and blue and stand in the arena with their bulls until the end of the fight. Doesn't seem like the best safety strategy, huh?

After the fight, leading his bull from the arena.
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This is a video of how the fighting went. Sometimes it was really exciting, but sometimes the bulls would be idle for minutes and not move. But in this game, there are no stale mates, they will fight for as long as it takes until one turns its back on the other.

The cool posters they made for the event and put up everywhere! We happen to get our hands on one, too :)
Head to head!
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Winner winner!! Here is a video of one bull finally giving up the fight. The winner celebrates by taking a victory lap around the arena.

Here's the jumbotron inside the arena. The bull on the right is named "Bin Laden". Haha. I think he actually won...
Loren playing with the mascot bull.

"Cute" police man and woman mascots. Not sure if they could have stopped any crimes in this outfit. And yes, we are wearing HUGE, blue paper visors that were given to us upon entering the festival.

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