Warning: If you’re allergic to tomatoes, then this festival is not for you! La Tomatina is an exciting and characteristic event of the town of Buñol in Spain. Each year the festival takes place on the last Wednesday in August and sees around 20,000 people pack the streets of the town to throw around one hundred thousand kilograms of over-ripe tomatoes at each other. Sounds delicious, right?
Rumour has it that it all began in 1945 when some local teenagers, taking part in the traditional processions, decided to create their own fun within the parade. One of them took some tomatoes from a market stall and hurled them at the others, who reacted instantaneously, giving rise to an impulsive vegetable fight.
Want to know more? Here’s the low down of the festival and some handy tips:
At 11am the La Tomatina begins and participants paint the town red, snatching, crushing and launching tomatoes at everyone in sight until everything and everybody is submerged in red. This unique festival is the largest food fight on the planet and its huge rapport has turned it into a Festival of International Tourist Interest, since 2002. Drinking before the festival is all part of the fun, but be advised – Long before the tomatoes arrive you’ll be squeezed into position until 1pm when the fight is called to an end, meaning that there will be no opportunity to dash off to the toilet.
What to wear
The best attire for the day of festival:
Rules of La Tomatina
The following rules have been set down by the Buñol Town Council:
Be prepared, by the end of the festival you will literally look like a tomato. You will be covered from head to toe and reek of tomato. You’ll find a few nice surprises in the next days or weeks with bits of tomato seeds stuck in your hair. But hey, it’s all part of the fun!