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- Posted: Friday, May 22, 2009
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La Tomatina The Tomato Throwing Festival
- Posted in:Festivals and Events
Playing with your food takes on a whole new meaning at La Tomatina, which is arguably the world’s biggest food fight with the weapon of choice being the tomato. Taking place on the last Wednesday of August this annual summer event is one of the strangest summer festivals about.The preparation and partying start the previous week with plenty of music, parades, dancing and fireworks to saviour.
The famous tomato fight on the final day is the highlight. It takes place between the hours 11am and 1pm. Before fighting can break out someone must climb up a greased up pole to release the ham – while this is happening it is custom for the crowd to sing and dance while being showered with water hoses. Once the ham is conquered trucks release the overripe tomatoes into the streets and fun filled chaos erupts. The actual tomato throwing only lasts a little over an hour.
History of the tomato fight
There are many theories as to how La Tomantina started but we do know it started back in the 1945. Some say it started as simply a local food fight between friends or as a group of children pelting the annual town parade with tomatoes after being forbidden to participate in it. One of the most popular and widely accepted theories is that unhappy locals attacked the city’s politicians with tomatoes during a town celebration.
Where does La Tomatina take place?
The festival takes place in a small village called Buñol in the region of Valencia, near the east coast of Spain. It has a population of 9000 people which swells to around 40,000/50,000 on the day of La Tomatina.Buñol is only 40 kilemetres from Valencia.
Transport to La Tomatina in Buñol
Buñol is easily reachable by car but parking would be nearly impossible in this period. Bus and train are the best options with regular services on the hour arriving and departing for Valencia.
Dos and dont's
There are certain things to remember for La Tomatina. Here is a list of the most important ones.
Do squish the tomatoes before throwing them for safety precautions. Don’t wear anything nice or valuable during the fight. Do bring a change of clothes. Don't throw anything that isn't a tomato. Do wear safety googles and gloves. Don't harm anyone else. Do be careful of the lorries and truckes releasing the tomatoes. Don't throw tomatoes until the ham has been captured. Do stop throwing once you hear the end of the fight. Don't arrive too late or else you could miss the whole event. Do enjoy yourself.
Where to stay during the festival
Accommodation is very limited in Buñol at the best of times so most people stay in Valenica and commute back and forth during the festival. Check at the link below to view affordable accommodation in Valencia.
By: Bríon O’Connor