Cheongdo Annual Bullfighting Festival: 210-thousand tourists, rules & goals


Particular interest to us, cockfighters, are the Festival rules especially:

  • Article 1: Goal
  • Article 2: Definition

We have something in common with their goal and definition articles of their festival rules.

Be sure to read and keep it in mind.

– Gameness til the End


From Wikipedia:

Han-u (한우 in Korean, also Hanu, Hanwoo, or Korean native cattle) refers to a breed of cattle raised in Korea, Bos taurus coreanae, which may be a hybrid derived from the cross-breeding of cattle and zebu. Its maternal lineage is taurine (European-type) cattle.

Its meat is a favorite in South Korea. Despite its high price, many Koreans prefer Han-u to cheaper imported beef as the former is regarded as fresher and of better quality. One paper noted, “Hanwoo is regarded as a premium beef because of its high palatability and desired chewiness”. Since Koreans consider Han-u beef a cultural icon and one of the top-quality beefs of the world, it is used in traditional foods, popular holiday dishes, or as a special-day gift. Hoengseong County is best known for its Han-u cattle, where the environment is well-suited for cattle farming. The county began a strategic marketing campaign in 1995 to brand itself as the origin of the highest quality beef in Korea.”


From Wikipedia:

Cheongdo County (Cheongdo-gun) is an county in North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. It is connected to the national transportation grid by the Gyeongbu Line railroad and the Daegu-Busan Expressway. The seat of government is located in the center of the county, in Hwayang-eup.

In the Samhan period, Cheongdo may have been the site of the small polity of Ieso-guk. It was later absorbed into Silla, and gained its current name of “Cheongdo” in 940. The county’s nine subdivisions were established in 1919. The county government moved to its current location in 1961. In 1966, the New Village Movement began in Sindo 1-ri, Cheongdo-eup.

Every year Cheongdo is host to an international bullfighting festival.”

Bullfighting Festival

Festival Outline

The spirit of bullfights never to yield and compromise is shown!

Although there is no written record on the origin of bullfighting, it is believed that bullfighting started as an impromptu game played by herdsmen to kill time when agriculture was first settled in Korea. As the township grew, bullfighting was used as a way to show off a household or a village’s power.

The game, which was played during the Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving), was banned during the Japanese colonial rule because Japan wanted to stop Koreans from engaging in cooperative games. The game was reinstated after Korea won its independence in 1945, and it became a major event since the mid-1970s. The bullfighting festival, which was staged to celebrate the March 1 Independence Movement Day since the 1990s at the Seowon riverside has now grown into the biggest bullfighting event in Korea.

In Cheongdo bullfighting, the bulls graze together in the field before they lock horns while onlookers cheer on. In the beginning, bulls fought regardless of their size however in recent years, the bulls are divided into three divisions according to weight and once the fight begins, they use various techniques such as head bumping, pushing, neck butting and flank attacking.

By the 9th festival in 1998, the event became Korea’s largest bullfight event. In 1999, the Culture and tourism ministry selected the event as one of the top 10 local cultural festivals, recognizing it as the nation’s best bullfighting event. Spurred on by this recognition, Cheongdo Gun and the Cheongdo Bullfighting Association have worked together to offer various events, such as inviting Japanese fighting bulls, good will bullfighting between Korea and Japan, a rodeo show by US troops stationed in Korea. Some 210-thousand tourists took part in the 5-day festival, with many foreign tourists from Japan and Korea.

About Bullfighting


  1. The bulls are grouped into three weight divisions
    1. Gap Category: Above 730㎏
    2. Eul category: less than 730㎏
    3. Byeong category: less than 640㎏
  2. The winner of a match continues to the next round in the tournament
  3. The bull loses if it turns its head and runs away
  4. There is no time limit and the fight continues until one bull is standing

How fighting bulls are trained

Professional trainers pick fighting bulls and carry out intensive training. Bulls are usually two years old in order to take part in the fight. Bulls usually take part in the fighting at least for 5 years before being allowed to compete in the Above 730 kg division. Fighting bulls concentrate exclusively on increasing physical strength and learning techniques. The fighting bulls and trainers usually have a special bond as building trust is an important aspect in winning.

Festival rules

Article 1: Goal

  1. To contribute in increasing the livestock farming households by improving the development of livestock, encouraging the households’ enthusiasm for livestock farming and developing science related to animal breeding.

Article 2: Definition

  1. Refers to the bullfighting tournament.
  2. Encourage the breeding of Korean cattle by selecting and exhibiting superior cows.

Article 3: Entering the Tournament

  1. Owners of domestically bred cows can enter the tournament.
    (There may be a regional restriction according to necessity)
  2. The owner needs to submit a written pact and entry form and submit to an inspection.

Article 4: Refereeing

  1. There are three referees. The head of the tournament will head the refereeing. The number of referees may vary according to a need.
  2. Owner who wishes to enter the tournament must follow the referee’s instructions.
  3. Referees put each bull into the appropriate weight division
  4. If a bull refuses to fight for more than one minute it will lose the match.
  5. The bull must respond to the instruction to fight, if one or both sides do not fight for more than 15 minutes after the instruction, one or both sides are considered to have forfeited the match.
  6. The winner is decided by drawing if unmistakable fighting doesn’t occur 30 minutes after the fight begins.
  7. Each side can have one cheering person during the fight. Referees can kick out persons who disrupt the fight or declare that side as the loser. (Red uniforms and similar colored markings are banned)
  8. All persons who fail to meet the requirements outlined in these rules cannot enter the bullring. If a cheering person of a fighting bull disrupts the order of the bullring by disorderly conduct, a referee may declare that side the loser.
  9. When in doubt over a referee’s decision, the head referee makes a final decision. If one side continues to question the head referee’s decision, the head referee may declare that side to have forfeited or lost the fight.
  10. A person who uses violent language or resorts to violence towards the organizers during the tournament will be indicted and the bull owner to whom that person belongs to will be deprived of the right to enter the fighting for three years.
  11. The winner may be decided by a decision of the referees (more than three people) even during the fight.

The winner of a match continues in the tournament.

  1. Organizers are not responsible for any accidents that may occur during the tournament
  2. The head of the tournament may select a person to entrust the proceedings and refereeing of the fighting.

Bullfighting Stadium

State-of-the-art facilities: accommodating 15,000 people including 11,845 assigned seats

This is the stadium that can only be used for bullfights. Here bullfights which could be enjoyed only during bullfight festivals in the past, can be enjoyed regularly every Saturday and Sunday.

The automatic opening and closing of the giant dome roof make it possible to hold bullfights independently of the weather and to enjoy bullfights in a pleasant environment. In addition to the main stadium, various public facilities make it possible to hold diverse performances and events on days without bullfights.

poultry gamefowl chicken gamecock

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.