Spanish Horse Wrestling Festival-Rapa das bestas
You might have seen people fighting with one mad bull, but have you seen people fighting with horses instead of riding on them? Spanish people do that in famous “Rapa das bestas” festival or “Wrestling with horse” festival.
Rapa das bestas is ancient Spanish festival in Galicia Spain, which is also termed as ‘Taming the Beasts’, in which men and women from all the ages wrestle untamed horses to the ground with their bare hands without any weapons and cut their manes and tails.
Today Rapa das bestas is a three day festival starting from first Saturday of July and most of the men and women of the village participate in the wrestling against around 600-700 horses of different breeds including stallions, mares, and foals. The meaning of “Rapa das bestas” is “the reaping of the horses” and it’s a tradition where people show their courage against these beasts. This festival is also celebrated to declare the village’s independence and virility.
A lot number of the horse hairs collected in festival are used in brushes and mattresses, and after end of the festival these horses are sent back up in to the hillsides again. Cruelty and death are strictly not part of this fiesta.
Even women don’t lag behind the men in the wrestling with horses and they fight with all their strengths in them.
The final goal of this wrestling is cutting the horse hairs – manes and tales.