Toro Júbilo (November)
The ‘Toro Júbilo’ festival takes place in Medinaceli, Soria, and is an event which must rank as one of the cruelest, if not most cruel, of festivities held in Spain.
The festival was actually banned during the Franco era between 1962 and 1977, an indication of just how bad it must be.
It involves a bull, naturally, and although the animal is not killed, it certainly does not have a pleasant time. Various animal rights organisations, including PACMA, have complained about the fiesta on the grounds of cruelty inflicted upon the poor beast.
The bull is tied, then covered in mud and water. A board is fixed to the horns of the animal and two flaming torches are then attached to the board. The bull is then tormented by the gathered crowd until the flames go out.
Defenders of the fiesta say that it dates back to Iberian times, but does that automatically make it OK? Genocide dates back to ancient times but that doesn’t make it right!