The Tomatina is a tomato fight that takes place every last Wednesday of August in Buñol, in the province of Valencia, Spain.
The tomato fight starts at 11 am with a firework explosion and ends exactly 1 hour later with the second firework explosion. In general, more than 160 tons of tomatoes are used (before you say it’s food wastage, note that most of the tomatoes used are rotten or about to be, so they are inedible). The tomatoes are dumped by truck, they are provided by the Buñol City Council.
Rules are established by the municipality to participate, for example:
– Before being thrown, the tomatoes must be crushed;
– Wearing a white shirt is mandatory (although it will not stay white for long).
The origin of this festival would go back to 1945: a fight broke out between young people during a village festival, and some would have taken tomatoes from a local shop and would have used them to throw them on their opponents. On the same date the following year, these same young people would have returned to throw tomatoes, but this time with their own tomatoes.
Forbidden for several years, this tradition was finally authorized by the city, however some restrictions were put in place.
Nowadays, only 22,000 people are allowed to participate, the entrance costs 10€ (except for the inhabitants of Buñol for whom it is free). Participants come from all over the world to throw tomatoes at each other! 🍅