The La Tomatina Festival

La Tomatina is a Spanish festival held in the town of Buñol, in Valencia, Spain. This is a festival wherein participants throw tomatoes and get involved in the tomato fight purely for entertainment purposes. Since 1945 it has been held on the last Wednesday of August.

Photo credit: MikeJamieson(1950) (Flickr)
Photo credit: MikeJamieson(1950) (Flickr)

The tomato fight event was created after two men, began throwing tomatoes at many people and places as a sign of their political protest. It was banned in the Spanish State period under Francisco Franco for having no religious significance.  In 1957, demand for the popular festival led to its becoming official, with certain rules and restrictions. La Tomatina returned in the 1970s and continues to this day, though more for enjoyment than protest.

1024px-La Tomatina 2010
Photo credit: By flydime (La Tomatina (25.08.2010) / Spain, Buñol) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

In La Tomatina festival, the fight usually lasts for an hour, after which the town square is covered with tomato debris. In 2015, it is estimated that almost 145000 kg of tomatoes were thrown.

Due to the popularity of the event, set of rules and regulations have been implemented for everyone’s safety. No one is allowed to throw bottles or hard objects, also t-shirts should not be torn or thrown. Tomatoes must be squashed first before throwing to avoid hurting others. Participants should also keep a safe distance away from the trucks that hose down the streets after the fight. Everyone should stop throwing tomatoes after the second starter pistol shot. Lastly, everyone participating the event is expected to follow the instructions from the security staff.