Different from the Spanish bullfighting, which is known for their red cape and sword, Jiaxing bullfighters are required to pull down the bull in a certain period of time with their bare hands and without hurting the animal. [Photo/jiaxing.gov.cn]
Jiaxing bullfighting is a national intangible cultural heritage item in Jiaxing, which used to be a traditional sports activity for the Hui ethnic group in Jiaxing that gradually became a local folk activity in the city.
Different from Spanish bullfighting, which is known for their red cape and sword, Jiaxing bullfighters are required to pull down the bull in a certain period of time with their bare hands and without hurting the animal. Therefore, it was also reputed as civilized bullfighting in the East.
Originated from the ceremony of the Sacrifice Festival or Id al-Adjha, Jiaxing bullfighting is usually held to celebrate traditional festivals.
The sports activity has a set of strict rules. The fighting bull is the key to the performance and needs to be a strong adult yellow cattle or buffalo weighing around 250 kilograms, with magnificent posture, high morale, and a pair of plump horns. The performance venue must be round, with dry and medium-soft soil.
Han Haihua, inheritor of Jiaxing bullfighting, has developed and promoted Jiaxing bullfighting since the sports activity was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage item in 2011. He has won more than 100 gold medals at various competitions.
In 2010, Han's team was invited to perform at the closing ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo, serving as the only performance team from outside of Shanghai.