On the last Wednesday of August, 1945, an enthusiastic crowd gathered to watch a Giants and Big-Heads figures parade in Spain. To say the least, it was an event that everyone wanted to be a part of. What followed was a lot of pushing and shoving and one participant fell down. History suggests that he flew into a rage, looked around and found a vegetable shop. The participant picked up tomatoes and flung it at the crowd. Thus began the Tomatina Festival in Buñol, Valencia, Spain.
It has now become one of the most famous festivals around the globe and is officially known as the "World's Biggest Food Fight." And on Wednesday, 26 August, the La Tomatina festival will take place in Bunol, Valencia, Spain.
Are you planning to smash the sweet and citrusy fruit into peoples' faces? If you are, then read our tips, guidelines and fun facts that you need to carry along with your bravery.
La Tomatina was Banned by the Spanish Government in the 50s.
There was a time when the Spanish government decided enough is enough. In the 50s, people were allowed to use the fruit in their cooking, and well, that's about it. However, Spanish civilians had other plans. In 1957, they mourned the death of the festival by carrying a huge coffin, inside which lay a large tomato. After this, the festival became official in Spain.
Here's Where the Festival is Held
Tomatoes are flung at people in Buñol, a small town in Valencia, Spain. The streets of this town witnesses revellers on the last Wednesday of August, every year. During the La Tomatina festival, people throw tomatoes for exactly an hour, after which firetrucks hose down people with water and some to go the pool of los peñones to wash away their stickiness. This year, the festival will celebrate its messy 70th anniversary.
There Are Rules.
While the event begins at 11am local time, the official tomato throwing ceremony takes place once a participant climbs up a greasy pole and retrieves a slice of ham attached to it. Apart from this, tomatoes must be squashed before you throw them at others. And amid all the fun, you've got to make way for trucks, and finally, the revelry ends once the siren blares.
There Are Many, Many After Parties
If you've not had enough, there are after parties. Almost everyone hosts an after party, and if they don't, there is an official after party for the La Tomatina Festival. You could buy your tickets on The Official La Tomatina Festival website. There's also a boat party, which takes place after the festival. You can find more information here.
Buñol Doesn't Grow Tomatoes
This bizarre fact is mostly unknown. Yes, it is true that this town imports tomatoes and uses 15,000 of it during the festival. Many have wondered if the La Tomatina festival is worth it, but residents of Bunol have a reason to celebrate after the revelry ends; their streets are pristine and clean from the acidity of the citrus fruit.
Tickets are priced anywhere between $12 to $75. For more details on tickets, merchandise and travel, visit Spaintastic.