Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Spring Weekend around Daegu (1): Cheongdo Bullfighting Festival

Despite the overcast skies and a chill in the air, we were all excited about the Cheongdo Bullfighting Festival. No matador is involved and the bulls don't fight to the death, so we were prepared for some good, morally unobjectionable bullfighting fun. We took the bus from Cheongju to Daegu (2.5 hrs) and then a train to Cheongdo (30 min). The information desk at the fairgrounds had English pamphlets, which included information about Cheongdo, the event schedule, a map of the surrounding area and a picture guide to the different bullfighting techniques. Here's the festival introduction:

"The agricultural tradition leaping forward into the world! The fighting bull will appear here in a role that is entirely different from its typical role as a farming helper, as if it were a member of a farming family in the traditional agricultural society of the past. Bullfighting, which used to be merely a pastime for herd boys on a longer summer day, has been transformed into a type of folk game performed to show off the strength of individual farmers and villages, and gradually developed into a peculiar agricultural feast to strengthen the solidarity between neighboring villages. Bullfighting in Cheongdo is special because it has a 1,000-year history and features one of the typical agricultural folk festivals of Korea."

We arrived just in time for the opening ceremonies, which included traditional drumming and lots of announcements that we couldn't understand.

Bring out the bulls!

Some fights were pretty dull; some bulls wouldn't fight and so the match was called before there was any contact. Most fights looked like this one- the bulls would just lock horns and be at a standstill for awhile.

This fight went on for a long time and I was lucky to catch the dramatic ending!

I'm showing off my 3 dollar shirt in front of one of the examples of "Bulls graffiti".

After watching the "Revenge Big Match", we decided we had sufficient exposure to Korean bullfighting and were ready to move on.


Post a Comment

<< Home