When it comes to unusual festivals, the Tomatina Festival in Spain is definitely a candidate for first place, as it’s where thousands of people come together each year to take part in what is known as the world’s biggest food fight! That’s right! Over a hundred tons of juicy, over-ripe tomatoes are brought in by the truckload, ready for the fight to begin. The question is…are you tough enough to compete?
The festival takes place each year on the last Wednesday of every August in the Spanish town of Bunol, which is approximately 40km to the west of Valencia. It can be reached easily by road, so even if you’re not staying nearby, you can still drive to it by hiring a car or catching a bus.
Once here, you can enjoy week-long celebrations, which include dancing, live music, parades and even a Paella cooking contest – which takes place on the eve of the tomato fight.
The food fight starts prompt at 11am with water cannons fired to signal the start of the battle. The tomato throwing lasts for around one hour and when it’s time to stop, you’ll hear a second shot.
If you’re thinking of taking part, there are a number of rules to follow:
1. Most importantly, make sure you squash the tomatoes before throwing them, as whole ones can really hurt!
2. Don’t bring any hard objects with you such as bottles
3. Keep a safe distance from the lorries carrying the tomatoes at all times
4. Make sure you don’t grab or rip other peoples clothing.
Obviously, it’s a good idea to wear something other than your best clothing, as the chances of washing all that tomato juice out are slim! The huge quantities of tomato juice will most likely get into your pockets as well, so maybe leave your phone out of harms way! It may also be a good idea to wear gloves, so you can get a better grip on the squashed tomatoes and also eye goggles for additional protection.
What is the history of the Tomatina Festival?
The festival dates back around 70 years to 1944 when it is thought the tradition first began. There are a number of popular theories of how the parade actually started. Some believe it was because of a lorry spillage. Others say it started during another parade, when youngsters accidentally angered one of the parades participants by pushing him over – which then led to a massive food fight with the only victim being a nearby vegetable stall. Many attempted to establish the tomato throwing as an official festival but met resistance. It was even banned for a period of time but soon returned and was officially declared as the Tomatina Festival.
Have you ever experienced this unusual festival? If so, let us know more about your experience via our Facebook page and if you have any photos of the action, feel free to include those too!
Maybe this sounds like your kind of place? If so, why not get ready for next years festival by booking a Spain holiday with us today, as it’s definitely one for your bucket list! Ring us on 01274 422341.