La Tomatina Festival In Spain: Some Facts, Some History
Before the start of La Tomatina festival 2017, here we share some interesting facts about one of the popular festivals in Spain.
What is La Tomatina Festival? Things you must know about it. If you don’t know anything then this blog will say everything that you should know about the festival which is literally a tomato throwing festival. We tell you about the throwing tomatoes festival: why is la Tomatina celebrated? How long does la Tomatina last?
La Tomatina history:
Well, to mention, Spain is infamous for hosting some of the most interesting festivals in the world and La Tomatina continues year after year.
This is a food fight festival held on the last Wednesday of August every year in the town of Bunol in Spain. Thousands of people make their way from every corner of the world to fight for tomatoes, in this ‘World’s Biggest Food Fight’ where over one hundred metric tons of ripe rather overripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets.
Before 2013 anywhere between 40,000 to 50,000 people indulged into this huge tomato fight, literally expanding Bunol’s 9,000 person populations. Since 2013 official ticketing has been initiated to limit the number of participants to just be 20,000 people. The lucky ones, indeed!
There is also limited accommodation for people who participate in the Tomatina festival, hence many people opt to stay in nearby Valencia which is only 38km to Bunol by bus or train. In preparation for the dirty mess that would happen, shopkeepers cover their storefronts with huge plastic covers in order to protect them.
So August end brings the beginning of the very famous Spanish festival, La Tomatina. Organised in the Valencian town of Buñol city, the red and messy festival witness participants throwing over-ripe tomatoes at each other.
This festival represents a crazy Spanish festival another to mention is the Bull Fighting. The festivals of Spain are real of the unique type.
Here we share 7 interesting facts you should know:
1. Infamously World’s largest food fight.
A festival which leads is the world’s largest state-sanctioned food fight. Every year, about 40,000 tomato lovers go to the tiny Mediterranean town of Valencia to pelt each other with nothing but tomatoes.
2. The festival brings other ‘festivities’ as well.
The week leads to a huge slug-fest is adorned with massive parades, fireworks, and massive Paella cooking contests.
3. From a street brawl to the origin of the food fight.
The history dates back to the year, 1945 during another La Tomatina festivity in Buñol, a street fight started out when a participant began to pelt everyone with vegetables from a stall nearby. This led to other people doing the same; a furious vegetable battle started. The next year, the same young minds started a quarrel on purpose and brought tomatoes of their own. Though the police broke the early tradition later, being banned in the early 50’s, the popularity of the food fight continued. By the wish of the town’s people, the tradition was brought back under some rules and regulations.
4. A slice of ham marks the start of the fight.
At 10 am on the day of Tomatina, a slice of ham is hung above a greasy pole in an already crowded town square namely ‘palo jabón’. The goal is to climb up and get this slice of ham with the crowd chanting and singing with encouragement and being showered by water hoses. The moment the slice of ham gets dropped, a loud signal is given, trucks loaded with tomatoes come in and the chaos begins.
5. More than about 40 metric tonnes of tomatoes are wasted.
In a fight which lasts only for an hour, about 150,000 tomatoes get smashed. The tomatoes wasted are of low- quality, very bad to taste, very cheap and comes from a place called Extremadura.
6. It sometimes turns into a battle of the sexes.
Often the fight gets transformed between the playful battle between the men and women present there.
7. The tomatoes’ acidity act as a disinfectant.
After the brawl over tomatoes, fire-fighters wash off the streets and people with hoses. To utter surprise, the village streets look very clean as the acidity of the tomato acts as a disinfectant.
There were various re-creations of the festival in Chicago, Nevada, Costa Rica and Columbia. A futile attempt was to recreate the festival in Bangalore, India but met with harsh criticism over the fact of ‘wastage of tomatoes’ led to a ban on the event.
When is La Tomatina 2017? La Tomatina 2017 is on August 30.
La Tomatina festival tickets are available online and also from their official site.
So if you are interested then you must book your ticket for the huge event!
With this, we conclude.
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