La Tomatina : The Festival of Food Fight

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La Tomatina: The Festival of Food Fight held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of bunol near valencia in Spain. Thousands upon thousands of people make their own way from all corners of the world in this ‘World’s Biggest Fight’ where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are on the Streets.

When is La Tomatina celebrated?

La Tomatina is on the last Wednesday of August every year.

Where is La Tomatina celebrated?

La Tomatina is held in the Valencian town of Bunol, which is situated in the east of Spain. Bunol is located approximately 30km away from the Mediterranean sea.

Approximately 9,000 people live in the town, which is surrounded by mountain ranges. However, thousands of tourists visit the region especially to take part in La Tomatina festivities.

How is La Tomatina celebrated?

In this festival, participants throw tomatoes and celebrate the tomato fight purely for entertainment purposes. Since 1945 it has been held on the last Wednesday of August, during a week of festivities in bunol.

Rules of La Tomatina:

  • The tomatoes have to be squashed before throwing to avoid injuries.
  • No other projectiles except tomatoes are allowed.
  • Participants have to make way for the truck and lorries.
  • After the second shot indicative of ending the tomato hurl, no tomatoes should be thrown.

Why is the Tomatina celebrated?

The town of Bunol, stresses that La Tomatina is a festival to promote happiness and Entertainment. To prevent any mishaps, there are a few rules to the festival: The tomatoes must be squashed prior to throwing. Tomato is the ONLY throwing object permitted.

HISTORY

La Tomatina festival started the last Wednesday of august of 1945 when some young people spent the time in the town square to attend the Giants and big – Head figures. The energy of jovialities caused one participant’s Bighead to fall off. The participant flew into feet of rage, began heating everything in his path.

There was a market stall of vegetable that fell victim to the fury of the crowd. People started to pelt each other with tomatoes until the local forces ended the fruit battle.

The following year, some young people engaged in the pre-planned quarrel and brought their own tomatoes from home.

Although the local forces broke it up, this began the yearly tradition. In these following year, the young boys’ example head unwittingly made history for thousands of people.

La Tomatina was banned in the early 50s, however, this did not stop the participant who was arrested. But the people protested the prohibition and the festivity was allowed with more participants and increased passions.

The festive was again cancelled till 1957 when, as a sign of protest, the tomato burial was held it was a demonstration in which the residents carried a coffin with a huge tomato inside.

The parade was accompanied by a music band that played funeral marches. The protest was successful. La Tomatina festival finally gets permission and become an official festival.

As a result of the report of Javier Basilio, a broadcast from the Spanish television program inform Semanal, the festivity started to be known through the rest of Spain. Since then, the number of participants increased year after year as well as the excitement of the La Tomatina festival.

In 2002, la Tomatina bunol was declared a festivity of international tourist interest by the secretary department of tourism due to its success.

Facts about la Tomatina :-

  • IT IS THE WORLD’S LARGEST FOOD FIGHT

Yup, La Tomatina is a festival that leads up to the worlds largest state-sanctioned food fight. Every year, approximately 40,0000 tomato enthusiasts descend on the tiny Mediterranean town of Bunol to pelt each other with tomatoes.

  • THE FESTIVAL COMES WITH OTHER ‘FESTIES’ TOO

The week leading up to the massive slug-fest is adorned with massive parades, firework and even a massive paella cooking contest.

  • THE FOOD FIGHT ORIGINATED FROM A STREET BRAWL

Back in the year 1945, during another La Tomatina festivity in bunol, a street fight broke out when a participant started a pelt everyone with vegetable from a market stall nearby.

  • A SLICE OF HARM MARKS THE BEGINNING OF THE FIGHT

Strangely, Yes Come 10 am on the day of Tomatina, a slice of ham is hung on the top of a greasy pole in the already crowded town square called the ‘palo jabon’.

  • OVER 40 METRIC TONNES OF TOMATOES ARE USED

In a fight that lasts for just an hour, around 150,000 tomatoes meet their fates. The tomatoes used are low-quality, inferior in taste and come cheap from a place called  Extremadura.

  • IT CAN TURN INTO A BATTLE OF THE SEXES

Often the fight turns into a playful battle between men and woman present.

  • THE TOMATOES ACT AS DISINFECTANT

Once the fight ends, fire-fighter wash the streets and people down with hoses.

  • LA TOMATINA KNOCKS-OFFS

There have been various re-creations of the festival in Nevada, Chicago, Costa Rica and Columbia.

Updated on: 08-Apr-2021

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