Shortly after I began dating my husband, we travelled with his family to the Azores.
I had never heard of this group of islands in the middle of the Atlantic, but I instantly fell in love.
His sister, her son and I stayed with cousins on one end of the village while he and his parents stayed on the other.
This video is in that village.
In the two weeks we were there, we drove, ate and visited with family and friends.
We also watched numerous bullfights.
These bullfights are different than what I knew of.
There are 4 bulls that are ceremoniously driven into a village safely housed in huge crates...you can see them at the beginning of the video.
Homeowners line the street with boards to help protect the lovely walls, gates and fences.
When the first bull is to be let out of said crate, two fireworks are set off.
This notifies the fraidy cats in the street to hightail it out of there.
This is also the moment on my first trip that I most elegantly hopped a fence, landed flat footed in shoes I had no business wearing and bruised my heels so badly that I walked on my toes the entire trip.
I'm not even exaggerating.
That was back in the day when I had a new beau and wanted to impress him and his family.
I definitely made an impression.
As the bulls are released, one at a time, they run free in the street with a rope dragging behind them The rope is to allow the 5 men in the white shirts and black hats to control the bull if necessary.
In essence keep him from seriously hurting someone.
You can imagine that in some cases even 5 men pulling in one direction is no match for an intent bull.
After a certain amount of time, another firework is set off, announcing that the street is once again safe from roving bulls.
He has been housed again in the crate where he'll be taken home.
The process repeats 3 more times.
These bullfights are much more that watching a bunch of crazy people thinking they are brave...
until the bull turns toward them.
It is more that watching the athleticism of the men running and jumping over or onto the barriers.
It is more than the cheers and laughter.
It is a ritual that brings people together.
It is sitting on a safe porch and watching a community share something.
Love of tradition.
Love of family and friends.
I'm ready to go back.
The video is very long, but fast forward a couple times to get the idea.