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Benavente: The Festival of the Tied Bull

The Festival of the Tied Bull, which is more than 300 years old, has been declared of touristic interest in Castilla y León, and is one of the great attractions of the village of Benavente. The event, takes place during the celebrations of Corpus Christi, but has its prelude 50 days before the start of the festival. On this day the villagers act out the traditional demanding of the bull, the origin of which lies in the tale of how the son of the Benaventen Countess was killed by a bull. When she was told the news, the Countess asked as revenge that the bull was run to death in the streets by the villagers. From then on in memory of her son she donated a bull to the villagers on the same day every year. When the Countess died, the villagers ran to demand the bull from the mayor, and this tradition is now also repeated every year. On this day in the Plaza Mayor all the villagers clamour for a bull: "¡toro! ¡toro! ¡toro!" until the mayor concedes.

The festival lasts a week. On the main day, which is on Wednesday, the young men of the village run the bull around the whole town. It is a physical race between the men and the bull, which has a rope tied to its horns so that it does not escape from the course. The bull does not suffer at all.

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