Circus Sincelejanus

Last week I attended the last day of the Corralejas here in Sincelejo. Corralejas are a wacky, wild and dangerous free-for-all mixture of the running of the bulls, a traditional bullfight and a western rodeo… or something like that. They are popular all over Colombia’s Caribbean coast with Sincelejo’s considered the biggest and best. The nine days of Corralejas, coinciding with the parades, parties and beauty pageants associated with the “Sweet Name of Jesus” festival makes for Sincelejo’s largest cultural event each year. The Corralejas have been going on for some 150 years and though undoubtedly cruel, Corralejas bulls are not killed.

The circuses of the Roman Empire must have been something like this. The “haves” up in the stands, the “have nots” doing what they can to impress the crowd and make a buck. The amateur bullfighters who do something impressive (like get gored) are allowed to go up into the stands to ask for money.

Here’s a little video footage I shot…

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