The Tomatina is one of the most popular and visited Spanish festivals around the world. It is a MUST you can’t miss!
The last Wednesday of August, tonnes of tomatoes (A specially cultivated variety that is not fit for consumption) and tomato lovers from around the world get ready for the big battle!
Your target can be anyone and the main aim is to throw tomatoes at those around you.
Over forty thousand people take part in this fun battle. And the amount of ammunition are hundreds of tomatoes! (And don’t worry, the tomatoes are provided by the town)
The signal of the beginning of the battle is a firecracker which is set off at 11am at the town hall. Then, truckloads of tomatoes fill the streets and… participants run under a rain of tomatoes and begin the tomato battle!
The first Tomatatina was in 1945 at the final festival of the summer in Buñol (Near to Valencia). A group of youngsters who were bored, or wanted a new way to have fun, brought down one of the Giant figures in the parade.
The guy who was dressed up as this figure did not appreciate the joke and started the fight, and his friends quickly joined in. The fight took place near the vegetable stalls and tomatoes that quickly became the ammunition.
The police broke up the fight and forced those involved to pay for the vegetables used. But exactly a year later the young people arrived at the same place again but with their own tomatoes.
The whole city started throwing tomatoes once a year, and despite the disapproval of the police, more and more people took part.
In 1950 the local authorities had not prevented the Tomatina and started naming the day this way. But the Spaniards were not restricted to only throwing tomatoes at each other. Sometimes the tomatoes hit influential people, which led to the prohibition of the festival in 1957.
The frustrated Spaniards then held a Tomatina funeral, in which they took a huge coffin full of tomatoes through the streets of the city with a traditional funeral procession. They even accompanied it by an orchestra.
In 1959, by the pressure of the citizens, the authorities lifted the prohibition and recognized the battle of the tomato like an official festival. So that’s how became the Tomatina in Buñol.
This year the Tomatina is going to be the 30th of August. You are still in time to visit Buñol and enjoy the festival. Just need to book your entrance in the official webpage. You may need a shower or two after the festival but… the fun worth it! If you would like to experience Spain, check out the exciting programs we have such as our internship,or language course. See you in Spain!