Friday, 8 November 2013

¡Fiesta! Tres. He's Behind You!

What's this for?

You're all probably imagining what you'd want to do with it, and you'd be right! It's a toy, and a prized one in this area. The game you play with it is simple. You chase your mates all over the place. I see them quite often here. Some are clearly 'home made', like this one.

You'll also see them on the front of bikes or just held in the hands.

Do you know how much 25 euros is? 

It's all a lot of fun chasing your mates around the park, but every now and again things get much more interesting when a team of professional chasers come to a town's fiesta bringing their own very special friends...

But just because the professionals are in town, doesn't mean you can't bring your own...

Some of the children are remarkably big for their age, don't you think?

If you're ever in Spain, especially over the summer months, it's worth checking out in the local press or the oficina de turismo to see if one of these 'bull-runs' is on. They're called encierros infantiles and you'd be very welcome to join in...

I'll finish with a video I shot in a town called Nules near Valencia. Watch out for the 5th bull...

A sad note to end on, and a serious warning: While all this running around and screaming while being chased by a man with a bull on wheels is clearly great fun, don’t let it mask the fact that the ‘real thing’ is an extremely dangerous affair. 

Adults running with real bulls (toros) is very popular in certain parts of Spain, like here, in the Valencian community. If you look closely in the videos you’ll see the ‘cages’ (called cadafales) where people run to safety when a real bull is loose on the streets. Spectators stand inside the cages or sit in the seats on top. And sadly, every year, the local newspapers report serious injuries and deaths during these small-town bull-running fiestas. 

In fact, four days after I filmed this encierro infantil in Nules, a man was killed.  

Enjoy your holidays...

For a more in-depth piece on encierros infantiles see this post on my main Zen Kyu Maestro blog: Bull-running-for-kids

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