Toros a la Tica in Costa Rica, which is a unique and controversial tradition that takes place every year during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Unlike traditional bullfighting, Toros a la Tica does not involve killing the bull. Instead, it is a celebration of Costa Rican culture and heritage that involves improvised bullfighters and a brave bull.
The event takes place in the “redondel” (bullring) of Zapote, a neighborhood in the east of San José, with a capacity for 3,000 spectators. The bull is not touched and is applauded for catching the adventurous who hope to cut it down in the arena. The animal is not harmed, and the regulation prohibits “killing the bull”. The animals are inspected before, during, and after the bullfights by members of the veterinary service of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
The tradition dates back to colonial times and has been a part of Costa Rican culture for over 50 years. According to a 2015 University of Costa Rica survey, 62.7% of Costa Ricans “like” these festivities . The return of the “Toros a la Tica” marks the arrival of Christmas and New Year, and it is a time for people to come together and celebrate their heritage.
In front of the animal’s horns, several dozens of improvised bullfighters provoke the onslaught with shouts and fuss. They do not wear a bullfighter’s costume, they barely have a cape, and their objective is clear: to run so as not to be gored. It is essential to wear comfortable shoes like tennis shoes or soccer cleats.
In summary, Toros a la Tica is a unique and controversial tradition that takes place every year during the Christmas and New Year holidays in Costa Rica. It is a celebration of Costa Rican culture and heritage that involves improvised bullfighters and a brave bull. Embrace Pura Vida if you’re in Costa Rica during this time and be sure to check it out!