To mark the 70th anniversary for Spain’s reddest event, Google gets messy for La Tomatina with an animated display of tomato throwing. Click quickly though, so you don’t miss it – HERE. Edit: If you missed it, you can see it in action HERE
It is 70 years since Spain’s biggest and most popular food fight began although the origin of it is not known for certain. Stories range from rebellion against Franco… to two little boys having a fight. Buñol in Valencia sees thousands of people from all over the world come together to share in the lobbing of the soft red fruit.
Every year on the last weekend of August, the Plaza del Pueblo of Buñol (Valencian community) transforms into a very red, very messy, very loud location.
Villagers and visitors simply pelt each other for fun with approximately 150,000 tons of squashed tomatoes. Once the festival begins, everything becomes as red as a tomato. There are several rules: the tomatoes must be squashed so that injuries are avoided, only tomatoes can be thrown and once the fight ends, no more tomatoes may be thrown.
There are many theories to how the festival began, but the principle remains the same to this day; this is to simply have as much fun as possible and splatter the tomatoes on anyone involved. Although the festival as a whole lasts a week and involves music, parades, dancing and fireworks, the actual tomato-throwing celebrations start in the morning and endure for an hour.
The tomatoes are left to overripe so they will splatter easier on the recipient, although it is also customary to crush them before throwing so they do not hurt on impact.
Until 2013, the amount of people attending La Tomatina was an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 every year. However, this put severe strain on the habitually small town of Buñol, so numbers are now limited to ticket-only entrants, up to 20,000 people.
If you join in for future Tomatina events, we recommend that you wear clothes that you don’t mind being ruined… and wear swimming goggles – that juice can sting your eyes.
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.