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La Tomatina Festival

Festivals | 7-14 yrs | Interactive, Reading Pod

Spain’s Tomato Throwing Festival

There are all kinds of people across the globe and they are known to celebrate various kinds of festivals. But by and large, the La Tomatina festival qualifies as one of the most weirdest festivals ever! Time to dive right into the mayhem and find out why.

Name of Festival?

La Tomatina festival.

Where is the Tomato Festival celebrated?

Buñol in eastern Spain.

When is La Tomatina celebrated?

The last Wednesday in August.

What is it?

The world’s biggest food fight!

How did this crazy-fest start?

The story is an interesting one and here’s how it goes. On the last Wednesday of August in 1945, a few young people went to the town square to attend the Giants and Big-Heads figures parade. These young men got really excited and decided to parade with a musician. These boy were so charged about the parade that they caused one person to fall off the float.

This really angered the participant who fell off and he started flinging everything in his path. On the way, there was also a market of vegetables. The participant, among other thing, flung a tomato on the young folks. Soon the whole crowd became furious and started to pelt each other with tomatoes until the local law enforcement ended the vegetable battle.

This carried on the following year as well when young people picked a quarrel by their own decision and brought the tomatoes from home.

In fact, La Tomatina was banned in the early 50s, which was not a problem for the participants who were constantly getting arrested. Soon the people spoke and the festivity was again allowed with more participants and more frenetic feelings.

What does La Tomatina mean today?

A week before the last Wednesday in August, the festivities of this Spanish festival begin in full swing. Parades, fireworks, music, dancing and the paella cook-off contest draw visitors to Buñol for the annual fiesta. When the last Wednesday in August finally approaches, the day of the great battle dawns. The streets of Buñol are now hosting 20,000 local folks and tourists. The festivities begin from 11am and 1pm, when trucks loaded with around 125,000 kilos of ripe tomato ammo roll into the Plaza del Pueblo. Now the tomato wars go on till the whole town is painted red.

Rules of La Tomatina

There are about four rules that the participants need to follow:

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

Numbers of La Tomatina

Till a few years ago, the people visiting the Tomatina festival were large but manageable. It is in the recent times that the event started become a victim of its own success. With over 50,000 people trying to cram themselves into this small Valencian town, security concerns shot up and the numbers have been restricted to 20,000. This is why you need to book much in advance!

To read more interesting festivals for kids, click here.