In the bullring of history: The July Bullfighting Fair of Valencia

The history of the Valencia July Fair

Tell us about it: P. del Ruiz

From the distant echoes of tradition, the world of bullfighting has been intrinsically linked to the soul of Spain, and few bullfighting fairs embody this union better than the July Fair of Valencia. This event, which year after year arouses conflicting passions, is a faithful reflection of our culture and of the deep roots that sometimes intertwine with controversy.

The July Fair, with its history dating back to the 19th century, is more than a simple bullfighting event; it is a manifestation of Valencian identity and, in many ways, of the Spanish one. In its beginnings, this fair not only included bullfights, but also fireworks shows, concerts, and a series of activities that made Valencia a hotbed of life and joy in the middle of summer. The bullring becomes the beating heart of the city, where the past and present meet in a ritual that remains as fascinating as it is controversial.

However, to truly understand the meaning of the July Fair and the place of bulls in our society, we must immerse ourselves in the complexity of human emotions that this spectacle arouses. Bullfighting is, without a doubt, a controversial art, where beauty and brutality intertwine in a macabre dance. The images of the square, with the sunset sun gilding the sand and the cries of “Olé!” echoing in the stands, evoke a deep connection with a cultural heritage that has survived through the centuries. Each lance, each pass of the muleta, is a reminder of a past that remains alive in the collective memory, an expression of a bravery that, in its essence, reflects the human struggle against nature and against itself.

In the contemporary context, it is crucial to reflect on the role of bullfighting. What does the persistence of this tradition tell us about ourselves? Is bullfighting a celebration of bravery and skill, or an unnecessary perpetuation of violence? The July Fair is also a reminder of how traditions can evolve. Over the years, the event has had to adapt to changes in social sensitivity and the demands of an increasingly diverse audience. Bullfights are no longer the only focus of attention; they now share the spotlight with cultural and recreational activities that seek to attract all Valencians, regardless of their opinions on bullfighting.

Feria de Julios de Valencia 2024
Bullfight of the July Fair of Valencia

The July Fair has managed to reinvent itself, integrating modern elements without losing its traditional essence. In every corner of the city, a festive air is breathed that transcends generational barriers. The new generations, although more critical of bullfighting, find in the fair an opportunity to reconnect with their roots, to understand where they come from and where they are going. The fair becomes a space for intergenerational dialogue, where opinions diverge but mutual respect prevails.

It is in this context of change and continuity where the July Fair of Valencia finds its true meaning. It represents a meeting point between the old and the new, between the fervor of bullfighting fans and the critical voices advocating for animal welfare. In each edition, the fair offers us an opportunity to debate and reconsider our values, to celebrate our cultural heritage while looking towards a more inclusive and compassionate future.

It is essential to observe this spectacle closely, not only to delight in its ephemeral beauty, but to question and understand its place in our society. Because in the end, the true wealth of the July Fair lies in its ability to reflect our own contradictions and aspirations, to be a mirror in which, perhaps, we can find answers to the questions that define us as a community.

Ultimately, the July Fair is a microcosm of Spanish society, where traditions and changes coexist in a delicate balance. It invites us to celebrate our roots, to reflect on our practices and to imagine a future where our differences become our greatest strength. In the arena of the July Fair, as in life, art and controversy, history and modernity intertwine, offering a rich and complex vision of what it means to be part of this vibrant and contradictory nation.

Valencia Tickets

Tickets for the eagerly awaited Feria de Julio in Valencia are now available! It will take place from the 18th to the 21st of July. Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of the excitement and tradition, enjoying the bullfighting shows in the emblematic Plaza de Toros of Valencia.

We are waiting for you!

Pedro del Ruiz crítico taurino

P. del Ruiz

Bullfighting critic