Jallikattu (Tamil: ஜல்லிக்கட்டு,சல்லிக்கட்டு, Jallikattu) also known as Eruthazhuvuthal (Tamil: ஏறுதழுவல், ērutazhuval) or Manju virattu (Tamil: மஞ்சு விரட்டு), is an event of controlling bull held in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations on Maatu Pongal day. Bulls are bred specifically by people of the village for the event and attended mainly by many villages’ temple bulls (koil kaalai). A temple bull is like the head of all cattle in a village; special rituals will be performed for this temple bull during important days. During the event, prizes are announced to encourage the youth to participate. After the event, tamed weak bulls are used for domestic activities and agriculture, meanwhile the untamable strong bulls are used for breeding the cows. Thus wild nature of the bulls are inherited to its next generation, even though these country bulls are domesticated a very long time ago.
Jallikattu has been known to be practiced during the Tamil classical period (400-100 BC). It was common among the ancient people Aayars(Yadava) who lived in the ‘Mullai’ geographical division of the ancient Tamil country.Animal activists and PETA India have protested against the practice since 2004.Along with human injuries and fatalities, sometimes bulls themselves sustain injuries which people believe as bad omen for the village.
In May 2014, the Supreme Court of India banned the practice, citing animal welfare issues.On 8 January, 2016, the Government of India passed an order exempting Jallikattu from all performances where bulls can not be used, effectively reversing the ban. However, on 14 January, 2016, the Supreme Court of India upheld its ban on the event, leading to protests all over Tamil Nadu.