La Tomatina is a festivity that is celebrated in Valencia, specifically in Buñol, a city in the east of Spain. During the festival the participants throw tomatoes at each other and take part in a food fight for fun. This tradition usually lasts about an hour and it has been practiced since 1945, always on the last Wednesday in August, where the whole town gets together to celebrate.

How did it start?

The tomato fight, ‘La Tomatina’, has been a very important tradition in Buñol since 1944. It’s unsure exactly how the event started but a popular theory is that there was a public disturbance where people started attacking a government official by throwing tomatoes at him. It seems that people enjoyed the act of rebellion a lot and decided to repeat it again the next year and so on until today. Other theories are that it started as a food fight between friends or after a truck full of tomatoes spilled over.

What are the rules?

In 1975 the city hall decided to organize the festival and since then the participants have increased considerably year after year. This is why some rules and regulations were imposed to keep everyone safe while having fun.

Some of the rules that should be followed are:

  • The tomatoes need to be smashed before they are thrown to avoid hurting people.
  • You cannot throw anything besides tomatoes.
  • The participants need to leave space for the trucks to pass by.
  • You cannot bring in bottles or any hard objects.
  • You cannot break or throw t-shirts.
  • Everyone has to stop throwing tomatoes when the second shot is heard.
  • Follow all security personnel’s instructions.

And you, have you ever participated in ‘La Tomatina’? We’d love to hear what you think! Comment below or on our Facebook page to share your experience.