Spanish Blood Festivals

Spanish Blood Festivals

According to surveys, the outside world sees Spain as the capital of animal abuse.

Unfortunately, our country has made a name for itself as a cruel and perverse nation associated with abuse, death and torture ever since the invasion of America or the creation of the Inquisition.

Centuries later, this shameful reputation is virtually unchanged thanks to the way animals are treated throughout the country.

The fires that illuminated those dark medieval nights of fear and ignorance and whose flames engulfed innocent women, are still burning on the horns of the bulls of Júbilo, whose anguished cries fall on deaf ears, ignored just like the cries of those women.

Public executions meant to set an example, often based on no more than superstitious accusations instead of a fair trial, brought the people together to watch, in morbid fascination, the agony and death of a neighbor. This chilling sadistic side of human nature is alive and well in any bull ring at five in the evening, when the torture at the hands of henchmen commences.


Heretics’ torture sessions and public humiliation are not lost in the mists of time. Medinacelli, Lekeito, Peropalo, and Tordesillas are all places where violence and blood are part of the local idiosyncrasy. Inflicting pain on an innocent being is cause for pride.

In the New World, the native Americans, seen as savage and inferior, were harassed, suppressed and enslaved as property, in the name of old Christian tradition. The Spaniards haven’t lost that habit: They still corner wild horses, mark them and steal their mane and in Pamplona terrible festivities of persecution, beating and public execution take place year after year.


Violence is reprehensible, whoever the victim, and the normalization of aggressive behaviour inevitably brings about the brutalization of the population.


The evolution and prosperity of a nation is only possible if it develops within the parametres of empathy and respect for life and others’ wellbeing. Let us join our voices in an outcry heard in all corners where animal abuse takes place. Let us openly reject any tradition that physically attacks another being.


We at El Hogar Animal Sanctuary will spend the whole summer publicly denouncing these cruel festivities and joining the protest against torture, by means of letters to local authorities. Together we can apply more effective pressure with the objective of eliminating these events.


These are the popular celebrations which feature abuse that we are aware of (the colours in the caption correspond to the CCAA according to the map featured at the beginning of this article):


Help us to denounce them and write to us if you are aware of any other such events. Together, we are stronger!