Toro de la Vega tournament
The "Toro de la Vega" is a medieval bull festival celebrated in the town of Tordesillas (province of Valladolid, Spain). The tournament consists of the chase of a bull by hundreds of lancers, in which some of these will try to lance the bull to death, after it has been released through the streets of the town and led to an open field by the runners and participants.
If the bull surpasses the limits of the tournament, or the lancers are not able to kill it, it will be pardoned. The festival has been celebrated yearly depending on the date of the Virgen de la Peña festivity (September 8).
In recent years, this festival has acquired increasing notoriety as a result of the protests against it, which denounce the cruelty and suffering to which the bull is subjected, as well as the negative picture of the town and the whole country created by the survival of this tradition in the 21st century. In 2016, the regional government banned the killing of the bulls. The festival had been previously forbidden for a period of four years in Francoist Spain, after which the citizens of Tordesillas succeeded in recovering their tradition. The current prohibition is widely rejected within Tordesillas and is being contested in the country's legal system. A normal traditional encierro, in which the bull is not killed in public, is being as from 2016 which has been renamed "Toro de la Peña".
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