La Tomatina - The World's Biggest Food Fight!
image source:News18.comLa Tomatina is the annual festival that happens annually every last Wednesday of August. This La Tomatina takes place in Bunol, it is a little village near Valencia, Spain. It is just 40 km from Valencia and can be reached by bus, train or car. Bunol is thinly populated with a population of 10,000 people. This colorful and messy festival involves thousands and thousands of overripe tomatoes which participants throw upon each other. It is the biggest food fight as it involves millions and millions of over- ripped tomatoes are thrown each other. Maximum capacity was 22,000 participants can take part in the festival. The participants must be 18 years old. 120 tons of tomatoes are thrown over each other in this food fight. This year will be the 74th anniversary of La Tomatina. In common language, this food fight is the Spanish version of Indian Holi. This food fight is biggest but at the same time, it is a harmless battle of tomatoes.
Date of La TomatinaLast Wednesday of August-28 Aug 2019
Beginning of La Tomatina
image source:Andalucia.comThere are numerous theories said to be behind the beginning of this messy worlds biggest food fight. The locals said that in the year 1945, a street fight broke during the somber street parade. In that fight, one rowdy started to throw vegetables from the nearby vegetable stall. The young group retaliated which resulted in a big fight. In the following year, the same last Wednesday of August the same group picked a fight on purpose at the same venue of Town Hall Square and brought their supply of tomatoes. The Police intervened to stop the fight the popularity of the tomatoes fight continued. It was banned till 1950, but the popularity of food fight lived back on the tradition and eventually, it was brought back.
Accommodation During La TomatinaAccommodation is scarce in the Bunol, as it is a small village in Spain. Visitors book cheap accommodation in Valencia then take a train to reach Bunyol on the day of the biggest food fight of the World. Valencia Central is only 40 km away from Bunol. There is no need for prior booking of trains as the journey is only for 50 minutes. Alternatively, tourists can opt for the bus or rental a car to reach Bunol. Bunol is the small thinly populated village, but during La Tomatina, the populations grow in the number of visitors landing to attend the festival. TheHotel Condes de Buolis a nice little hotel in the town center but there is hardly any accommodation in the immediate area so most budget visitors stay in abudget hostel or hotel in Valenciabut youll need to book well in advance. Another option for tourist accommodation includes a small family-run campsite called La Granjita in Chiva which is only 10km north-east of Bunol. The owners provide tents, bedsheets, towels as well as evening breakfast on demand of tourists is also available.
Tickets of La Tomatina
image source:The Indian ExpressEarlier the Tomatina festival was manageable but as the popularity is increasing each year. The tickets are available online. Due to security reasons, the town Council of Bunyol has been forced to limit numbers by issuing tickets to those wishing to take part. Tickets cost 10 each and can be reserved and printed out on theBunyol Town Council website. Alternatively, you canbook an organized tour to La Tomatinawith numerous companies who will include tickets in their package.
What to wear for La TomatinaThe majority of the participants try to wear white T-shirts. White is preferred because of the heat. Some participants feel that white displays the real color of tomatoes thrown over them. Plenty of people wear swimming goggles or snorkeling gear to keep the pure out of their eyes and nose.
Rules for La Tomatina
image source:ocionatur.comThe world's biggest food fight had certain rules and regulations which must be followed by the participants to have full enjoyment of this messy and colorful festival. Carrying a bottle or any object that can cause an accident is considered to be illegal for participants of La Tomatina. You must not tear the clothes. Before throwing tomatoes make sure that they are crushed so that it can not hurt anybody. You must be careful to avoid the lorries which carry the tomatoes. As soon as the participants hear the second banger they must stop throwing the tomatoes.
Features of La Tomatina
- Every year around 40,000 people descend on the tiny village Bunol to enjoy the biggest food fight of the world. The fight lasts for one hour. During this time almost 150,000 over-ripe tomatoes are thrown over each other.
- La Tomatina is a festival that leads up to the world's largest state-sanctioned food fight.
- The over ripen tomatoes are brought from the Extremadura region of Spain. The tomatoes are of low inferior quality. Probably these qualities are never meant to be eaten. They are inferior in taste too.
- At 10 am on the day of the La Tomatina festival. When you will arrive at the venue you will find a slice of ham is hung on the top of a greasy pole in the crowded town Square called the Palon Jabon. The goal is to climb and retrieve that slice of ham with the crowd chanting and singing for the encouragement. The moment the slice of ham is dropped off from the pole, it acts as the signal to start the chaos. The loud signal signs off and the heavily loaded tomatoes truck enters and then the food fight starts.
- Tomatina Festival begins at 11 am with a bang. Trucks loaded of tomatoes proceed to drive through the fight area while some locals in the back of the trucks are throwing tomatoes at all of the festival-goers.As soon as the truck passes, everyone dives on the ground scooping for tomatoes to get themselves armed for the battle.
- Over 40 metric tonnes of tomatoes try their fate. Sometimes fight turns into a joyful battle between opposite sexes.
- The tomatoes act as a skin disinfectant. Tomatoes are natural disinfectants. After La Tomatina, you will have naturally glowing skin. Tomatoes will clean or skin and remove all impurities.
- Once the food fights end the firefighters wash the streets and the participants down with hoses. You will be surprised to know that village streets look quite clean with the acidity of the tomatoes acting as disinfectants.
- There have been lots of efforts made to re-create the La Tomatina in several corners of the World. A few examples may include Nevada, Chicago, Costa Rica, and Columbia. An attempt to recreate the festival in Bangalore, India, was met with harsh criticism over the wastage of tomatoes that led to a ban on the event.
- Even Google marks the festival with its temporary banner celebrating La Tomatina.
- The La Tomatina comes with other festivities too. The week leading up to the main event is filled with parades, fireworks and paella cooking contests on the streets of the town. It can not be only seen as a tomato fight.
Useful Tips to attend La Tomatina
- Wear closed shoes that you do not mind throwing away afterward. If you wear flip-flops, you may get hurt, or you could lose them easily during the battle
- Wear old clothes, or clothes that you are not planning to wear again. They will most likely end up damaged from being ripped or incredibly dirty
- You may find goggles useful. However, it is safer if you just ensure that you always have something clean to wipe your eyes with. The best thing is if you tuck your T-Shirt into your shorts to keep the bottom part of your T-shirt clean and dry
- If you are planning to take pictures, bring a waterproof camera!
- If you are not from Bunol, and you want to stay overnight, don't forget to look for and secure accommodation in advance
- Do not miss the Palojabon - a greased pole with a Spanish ham at the top. Whoever can climb the pole and get the ham can keep it!
- Stay safe and enjoy the festivities as much possible