In Jallikattu, the bull is not killed and the ‘matadors’ are not supposed to use any weapons. It is held in the villages of Tamilnadu as a part of a village festival. The festivals are held from Jan to July, every year. It is first played in Palamedu, a village located near Madurai on 15th June which was getting famous in recent years followed by the world famous ‘Alanganallur-Jallikattu’ in’ Alanganallur’, another village near Madurai on Jan16. There is the specific breed of cattle bred for this purpose which is called by two common names, Jellicut and from the place of a big breeder Pulikulam.
History of Jallikattu
Jallikattu, which is bull baiting or bull fighting, is an ancient Tamilian tradition called ERUTHAZHUVUTHAL, popular amongst warriors during the Tamil classical period. According to Legend, in olden days the game was used by women to choose their husbands. Successful Matadors’ were chosen as grooms.
The term Jallikattu comes from the term Sallikaasu(coins) and kattu(meaning a package) tied to the horns of the bulls as the prize money. Later days during the colonial period this term got changed to Jallikattu which is the term currently used. In early, it was a aayar (Yadavar) game but now all castes participate in the event.
What is the Jallikattu Bull Taming Event?
Group of people enter this arena and have to try and tame the bull with bare hands.The participants try to do this by holding bulls tail (or) horns. Bull is specially prepared for this event by various farmers. The bulls are often taken for swims to strengthen its legs and various measures are taken to make the build strong and healthy.