Cheongdo Bullfighting Festival

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Jason and I with the Police

Bright and early on Saturday, Sandra, Jason, Maiko, Jenn and I left Jangsan to head towards Busan Station for another MeetUp. This time we were heading out to Cheongdo, a small town located between Busan and Daegu. As we got on the train, we learned that we didn’t have seats, so four of us piled into a small Noraebang (Karaoke). It was crazy. I’ve never done Noraebang at 9:00am, let alone on a train. Great start to the day! I upload video of that at a later date.


Jason and I with the Police

Bright and early on Saturday, Sandra, Jason, Maiko, Jenn and I left Jangsan to head towards Busan Station for another MeetUp. This time we were heading out to Cheongdo, a small town located between Busan and Daegu. As we got on the train, we learned that we didn’t have seats, so four of us piled into a small Noraebang (Karaoke). It was crazy. I’ve never done Noraebang at 9:00am, let alone on a train. Great start to the day! I upload video of that at a later date.

Anyways, we arrived in Cheongdo and got shuffled around until we finally found out where we were going and got the the Festival. It cost 5,000Wan per person, rumours were that those born in the year of the Ox got in free, but they were indeed just rumours as numerous signs pointed out at the ticket booth. The festival had several booths selling food, snacks, traditional activities and lots of persimmon products. Persimmon’s are apparently a famous product of the area.


Start of the match

We piled into the stadium and started watching the bulls. It was an interesting sight, the stadium was not full, but well attended by a handful of foreigners and a lot of old Korean men. It definitely is not an event that the younger generations go out to. Essentially two bulls are brought out (usually they are in the same weight class), and the owners release them and the bulls head put, head lock, head jab, and head wrestle until one of the bulls, the loser, decides to run away. These matches can last from a few seconds up to about 40 minutes. We saw 5 or 6 matches, which were all entertaining, but I starting to feel bad for the animals. By the end of the match they had blood running down their heads, and some had jab marks in their necks. However the days events clearly didn’t change our views as we ended up having beef soup for dinner back in Busan.


Bullfighting


The Stadium

After watching we met up with some others (Becca and some of her friends) for lunch, and then went to play some traditional games which was fun. Some people made pottery as well. It was an enjoyable event, not sure if I would go again, but it was culturally interesting to witness.


It wouldn’t be a true Korean event without strange crossdressers

It will be interesting to see the future of the event, as it looks like younger generations have no interest in it at all. Apparently during the warmer months, the city of JinJu also has weekly bullfighting matches in case I get the urge to watch another match before I go home.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vNc8FO0LYQ


Noraebang…on a train…at 9:00am!!


Making rice cake..the traditional way


Hellboy mascot?



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