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Now living in l'Olleria, south of Valencia

Friday, 27 August 2010

La Pobla Fiestas (Not for the squeamish)

Most of the villages have a similar series of Fiestas. The presentation of the Fiesta Queens, Bulls in the streets (contained!), Entry of the Moors and Christians, and several parades in between.

At La Pobla Del Duc, they have a portable bull ring. They actually have a proper bull fight on one night (no - I didn't go) and they also have more general entertainlment.

On one night, are the Recortadores. These are men that jump over the bulls, either summersaulting or leaping. They are spectacular to watch, and after a short period, the bull is removed and exchanged for the next one. The bulls are not hurt by the actions of the men in the ring, unlike bull fights. (The bulls are actually hired out by specialised farms, and are used to these activities.)

There is also a 'comedy' night, where the teams show their skills with funny antics. For example, standing (very) still on a small platform, while the bull runs past; hanging from a see-saw, and hoping that your opposite picks you up in time; and also having the bull chase a motorbike!

Although many people think this is inhumane (I don't totally disagree) the individuals all treat the bulls with total respect - unlike when the general members of the public are permitted to integrate with the bulls - and wonder why they get hurt.

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