La Tomatina – The tomato festival in Bunol (Spain)

La Tomatina

The History

Bunol, Valencia is famous for Tomatina festival, which is held in every year in the month of August. Its start dates back to 1945, when during a brawl, some people used the tomatoes available nearby as weapons to throw on each other. Soon police intervened and brawl was broken.

La Tomatina
La Tomatina

People remembered the date and next year, same thing was repeated with people brought potatoes from their home. The same events repeated year on year till it was The festival gained popularity with more and more participants getting involved every year till the tradition was established.

The most important landmark in the history of this festival is the year 1975. From this year onwards, “Los Clavarios de San Luis Bertrán” (San Luis Bertrán is the patron of the town of Buñol ) organised the whole festival and brought in tomatoes which had previously been brought by the local people. Soon after this, in 1980, the town hall took the responsibility of organizing the festival.

The event

The main event lasts for about an hour after a loud shot is fired. The tomatoes come from Extremadura, where they are less expensive and are grown specifically for the holidays, being of inferior taste. After exactly one hour, the fight ends with the firing of the second shot, announcing the end. The whole town square is colored red and rivers of tomato juice flow freely.

Tomato supply
Tomato supply

 

Rules of this festival

Despite the wild and free-for-all nature of the event, there are some rules that those taking part have to adhere to:

  • Tomatoes must be squashed before they are throwing as this avoids injuries.
  • Apart from tomatoes, no other projectiles must be thrown.
  • With trucks and lorries passing through carrying more tomatoes, participants must allow these vehicles through.
  • Once the second signal shot is heard, the fight has ended and no more tomotoes should be thrown.
What a scene?
What a scene?

Similar festivals are held in Colombian town of Sutamarchán, San José de Trojas (Costa rica),  Reno (Nevada- United States)

This festival was specifically recreated for a hindi movie – Zindagi na milegi dubara.

This festival was recreated for Zindagi na milegi dubara - a Hindi movie
This festival was recreated for Zindagi na milegi dubara – a Hindi movie