Bullfights on a Rope in Terceira
Popular since the 16th century, the “touradas à corda” (literally “bullfights by rope”) are held by local Terceiran villagers from May to late September. In these events, similar to the Running of the Bulls in Spain, a bull is let loose from the town square (or another open space) with a very long rope around its neck. Courageous people then attempt to provoke the animal and get as close to it as possible without being gored (resulting in many examples of humorous provocations, fearless attempts and the occasional injury or mayhem). Some “touradas à corda” also do away with the rope entirely or become semi-aquatic (when the bulls chase the participants off a dock). Following these “games,” the animal is eventually retrieved and a festival begins.