Jallikattu ( ஜல்லிக்கட்டு)), also known as Eru thazhuvuthal ( ஏறு தழுவல்) and Manju virattu (மஞ்சு விரட்டு), is a traditional sport in which a Bos indicus bull is released into a crowd of people.
Multiple human participants attempt to grab and tightly "hug" the large hump of the bull and hang on to it while the bull attempts to escape. Participants hug the hump for as long as possible, attempting to bring the bull to a stop. In some cases, participants must ride long enough to remove flags affixed to the bull's horns.
Jallikattu is typically practiced in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations on Mattu Pongal day.
Ancient Tamil Sangams described the practice as Yeru thazhuvuthal, literally "bull embracing".
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.