Spain was like the first country I ever wanted to visit apart from my homeland. That is not for sightseeing Barcelona or Madrid, No!!! the reason I wanna be in Spain is to witness the La Tomatina Festival. Another wish of mine in “Things i wish to do before i die”.
La Tomatina is an hour-long festival in Bunol, Valencia where an estimated 150,000 tomatoes (a whopping 90,000lbs of juicy, pasty round red balls (tomatoes) of awesomeness are flung everywhere and at everyone. The action begins at 11 a.m. sharp and ends an hour later with a water cannon usually signals both.
There are many theories revolving around how this festival actually started. The most popular amongst them is the theory of little rabbit parade. In 1945, during the ‘Little rabbit’ parade, the woodland animals were eating all the available watermelon and hence the people of the parade started throwing tomatoes at those animals (poor souls). During that Human Animal fight, one tomato missed the target animal and it flung in the air to hit another human, and the wildest species of this planet – THE HUMANS started fighting amongst themselves. In return that human threw a tomato back on someone else and within fraction of seconds everyone was throwing tomatoes on each other. But it ended up in fun. People were enjoying it.
The following year, people again played this tomato fight on same Wednesday of August, but this time they had their own tomatoes with them. After repeating this for few subsequent year a tradition was established. In 1950, the town officially allowed its people to throw tomatoes and have fun. In 1951, it was again stopped and few younger age group individuals were imprisoned by the authorities. Bunol (‘n’ with an accent) residents forced the authorities to release them. The festival was getting immensely popular with more and more people participating every year. The festival continued but each other there was a problem from authority level imprisoning individuals playing in it. In 1957, the festival become official with rules and regulations. From 1957-2014, the rules have undergone several modifications. Since 1980, resident are not needed to get their own tomatoes and the whole event is sponsored by Los Clavarios de San Luis Bertrán
Rules of the festival
1. The tomatoes have to be squashed before throwing to avoid injuries.
2. No other vegetables except tomatoes are allowed.
3. Participants have to give way to the truck and lorries.
4. The festival doesn’t allow ripping off T-shirts.
5. After the second shot indicative of ending the tomato hurl, no tomatoes should be thrown.
Till date it is celebrated on last Wednesday of every August!!! Some August i would be there in Bunol 🙂 ! FINGERS CROSSED