La Tomatina - A Festival of Joy!
The festival of La Tomatina is celebrated every year in Spain; people from all across the globe arrive in Spain to attend this festival. If you are curious to know more about the tomato-throwing festival then this blog is for you.
So, let us not waste any other moment and know La Tomatina, what it is, how it became popular, and much more.
Every year ‘La Tomatina’ (Spanish Festival) which is a fruit-based festival celebrated on August’s last Wednesday at Bunol, Valencia. In this festival, thousands of people gather on the streets and throw tomatoes at each other to experience an enjoyable tomato fight.
Around 11 am, participants come to the city center where the trucks full of ripe tomatoes arrive for throwing. Then people throw tomatoes in any direction they want for one hour. To avoid injuries, people crush the tomatoes before throwing them. They are also motivated to carry earplugs and goggles for protection.
After one hour the fire department of the city arrives and cleans the untidiness of tomatoes. And people move to the nearby river for cleaning. The celebration goes on till the night with music and food.
As we all know that tomatoes have citric acid which helps in cleaning so the city becomes cleaner than before.
It is believed that the festival of La Tomatina began unofficially in 1944 or 1945 when the parade in the honor of patron saint San Luis Bertran was going on and the local people had a dispute. A group of lawless youngsters threw a tomato on the head of a performer which resulted in a fight in which people grabbed the tomatoes from the nearby fruit seller and started throwing them on one another. Then people decided to bring the tomatoes from home to repeat the same every year.
People come to Bunol by bus and train to join sangria parties. The pre-battle ritual which is called El Palo Jabon starts at 10 am. In this ritual, a ham is placed at the pole’s top which is greased with soap and people climb to bring it down. After this ritual, at 11 am a signal is given as various big trucks dump the tomatoes on the streets of the city.
For the next one hour, the premises is filled with a tomato-soaked crowd. After one hour, you can enjoy the party throughout the whole afternoon with food and music.
The tomatoes that are used in the festival are never cultivated in Bunol. They are planted all over Spain and trucked in for the festival. These tomatoes are specially cultivated for the event and not for any other usage. This festival gives jobs in agriculture as well as in transportation due to production and purchase on a large scale. The number of tomatoes used in this festival exceeds the count of 319,000 pounds.
At the beginning of 1950s, this festival was banned which contributed to making the festival popular. The people in the city expressed their discontent in 1957 by keeping the tomatoes in a coffin and walking with them throughout the streets of the village.
In 1959, the local authorities removed the ban and after a few years i.e. by 1980, the government took over the planning as well as execution of this festival. In 1983, the tomato-throwing festival was broadcasted on television which increased the participation of people.
In 2002, La Tomatina was declared an International Tourist Festival and today people from all over the world arrive here to attend this festival. Approximately 45,000 people arrive in Bunol to experience this festival. Nowadays, it is also celebrated in various countries such as China, Argentina, Chile, and South Korea.
Generally, people wear white so that the visibility of tomatoes becomes more. It is also advised to wear goggles and earplugs for eye and ear protection.
If you are planning to experience Tomatina then you need to follow certain rules, which are mentioned below: