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The Portuguese bullfight is a truly unique experience. It begins with a bullfighter on horseback, attempting to insert metal barbed swords in the front haunches of the bull.
Then the tourada benefits from the daring tradition of the forcados. The forcados are a group of eight brave (/crazy) young men whose job it is to irritate and tire the bull, which they do by rushing him all at once, dressed in bright red and green hats and coats.
This tradition was supposedly invented when the guards of royal box seats, who used pitchforks (forcados) to prevent the bull from entering the box, were called on to grab the bull. This action, designed to make the fight less bloody, was and is still called the "Pega", or the grabbing of the bull. For the past couple of years, the Campo Pequeno arena had been closed for renovation. With its reopening in 2006 as an arena with sub-terranean shopping center, Campo Pequeno buzzes once again.
The arena features weekly bullfights, on Thursday nights throughout the summer, May to September.
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