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FYI: Travel

Korean Rodeo


The Far East may have an alternative for travelers looking for the drama of the bullring, without the gore and controversy. Every spring, Cheongdo, South Korea, hosts the annual Cheongdo Bullfighting Festival, which celebrates the country’s unique thousand-year-old tradition of “gentle bullfighting.” 

In Korean bullfighting, there is no matador and no animals are killed. Instead, two trained bulls fight one another until one resigns. The bulls are drawn together with ropes and lock horns, butt heads, and push and prod one another until one bull gives up and walks—or runs—away.

Ranchers choose competitive bulls based on their builds— long horns and thick necks are preferred—and then train them by driving them up hills carrying heavy loads. On the day of a match, bulls may even be given soju, a popular grain alcohol, to increase their confidence.

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Monica Mehta 

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