What if bullfights, usually associated with cruelty, blood and violence, would become a mellower affair? What if no killings, no blood, no serious injuries would occur? What if bullfights would turn into a festive and animal-friendly gathering with lots of fun? Well, this is not just another manifesto of animals’ rights activists, but a real overview of bull-to-bull fights in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Rarely known as a destination for these kinds of battles, Bosnian bullfights are among the most celebrated in the Balkans. So, if you have never heard of Bosnian Corridas where bullfighting ends without blood, you are on the right page to discover this rarity.
During the summertime, many places all over Bosnia & Herzegovina host bullfights. But only “Grmečka Korida” can be called the most famous one, and, at the same time, the oldest bullfight in the Balkans. Situated in the far west of Bosnia, Mt. Grmeč has been known for these fights for almost 250 years. Every first Sunday in August, thousands of people are coming to the village Oštra Luka to watch this traditional spectacle. Besides locals and their relatives from the surroundings, this event attracts more and more curious tourists from different countries. They all come to see bulls fighting for dominance in almost natural conditions. There is neither a matador nor bloodshed. Basically, bulls are the only participants, and the battle never ends in death. Since it is forbidden to sharpen bull’s horns, even animals’ injuries are rare. The battle finishes when one of the beasts flees, admitting the rival’s superiority. An inseparable part of this corrida is a country fair, where the atmosphere is festive with lots of music and copious food.
Based on the data from the national federation of bull breeders, more than 1000 animals take part in summer fights throughout Bosnia & Herzegovina. But only the best 14 are invited to compete in so-called “Champions League of bullfights” - Čevljanovići Korida. Located around 30 km on the north from Sarajevo, this village hosts bullfights for already 70 years. Besides the fights, since 1947 the valley also accommodates an accompanying fair that, together with bullfights, attracts around 70,000 spectators from all over the region. For two days, people are indulging in barbecues, roasted lamb, beers and rakia, followed by traditional dances and singing. When it comes to the business, all bull breeders hope that their animal will become a champion of this corrida because that increases the bull’s value up to 25,000 euros.
If you have never thought of coming to the Balkans to watch Bosnian Corridas, where bullfighting is without blood, it is the right moment to change your mind. Besides Spain, Portugal and France, the best-known sites for bullfights are in this part of Europe. Moreover, Bosnian bull-to-bull battles are a centuries-old tradition that is deeply embedded in the country’s history. Unlike in Spain, these bullfights are not controversial since no humans are involved, and no blood is shed. On the contrary, they are very animal-friendly and without violence. Bottom line, it is a good excuse for spectators to enjoy traditional music & dances, but also to have lots of fun.
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