The month of August creates history every year with the famous Spanish festival – La Tomatina. The Spanish festivals are known for being wacky and La Tomatina is the wackiest among them all. The festival is held in the Valencian town of Bunol, Spain. Every year, August comes with more excitement when the streets of Valencian turns out to be the river of tomato juice. Yes, you read it correctly. People in Spain throw ripe tomatoes at each other. Sounds quite interesting and weird but the festival has some notable facts behind its happening.
The question is, why people are participating in large numbers in this wacky festival. Not only in Spain but this messy, colorful and juicy festival is popular all over the world and won many hearts.
The most likely story is – from teenagers to adults to olds, everyone takes part in this festival. This festival represents how crazy and cheerful Spanish people are? Let’s discuss some fun facts about the festival.
1. Largest food fight in the world
Sounds strange, but true. La Tomatina is the largest festival in the world. Surprisingly, every year 40,000 people participate in the festival and enjoy the food fight in their own way. Many people come from different countries especially to become a participant in the festival. The predominant thing to notice is – every year people participate with the same enthusiasm. And that’s what makes La Tomatina Festival the biggest and most cheerful food festival in the world.
2. Fight originated from the street brawl
It was the last Wednesday of August in 1945. The story behind the festival is- during a more somber street parade, a street fight broke out when a rowdy local started to pelt everyone with vegetables from the nearby market stall. This small action led to groups doing the same. The fight didn’t stop on the day. The same young people picked a fight on purpose and brought their own tomatoes the following year. Although, in the starting years it was strived to be banned, but the enthusiasm of the food fight lived on. This enthusiasm for the food fight is what keeps the La Tomatina Festival alive.
3. Slice of ham begins the fight
Strange but true. This festival starts with a slice of the ham every year. At 10 am on the day of Tomatina, a slice of the ham hung on the top of the greasy pole. The whole concept of the festival is really interesting. The goal is to climb the greasy pole and retrieve the ham. The nearby crowd encourages that person in different ways. The moment the slice of ham is dropped off, a signal is given that indicates the entry of the tomato loaded trucks and then the festival begins.
4. There is much more than tomatoes
No, this festival doesn’t end at throwing tomatoes at each other. It has a lot more things to do. This festive week is full of cooking contests, fireworks, and lots of enjoyment. In all, the La Tomatina festival comes with enthusiasm and enhances your mood.
5. One of the prominent tourist’s attraction
La Tomatina has become one of the most popular tourist attractions. Surprisingly, people from every part of the world visit Spain especially for this festival. People found it crazy and one of the funny ways to reduce their frustration.
6. Large quantity of tomatoes are used
Yes, around 40,000 metric tons of tomatoes are used to make La Tomatina Festival memorable and grand with every passing year. But the good thing is, mainly cheap and low-quality tomatoes are used that are brought from the place called Extremadura.
7. Turn into the battle of sexes
During the festival, a lot of males and females interact with each other. In some cases, fights converted into a raunchy battle.
8. Disinfectant fact behind the tomatoes
People take it positively. Most of the people find a reason to take part in the La Tomatina festival. Tomatoes have an acidic nature that helps to clean the skin as well as the streets also.
9. What to wear is more interesting
What to wear at the festival is also the key. This festival is full of enthusiasm, people want to enjoy it in their own way. The majority of participants wear white just to feel the hue of the tomatoes. But most of the men enjoy wearing their underpants only. On the same side, plenty of people play safe by wearing swimming goggles and snorkeling gear to protect their eyes.
10. La Tomatina knock-off
Many countries like Nevada, Costa Rica, Columbia, and Chicago have been re-created this fest. An attempt was re-created by Bangalore, India also, but was met with huge criticism over the ‘wastage of tomatoes’ that eventually led to a ban of the event.
Consequently, the La Tomatina Festival is being popular every year and Spain continues to play more magical spells like this. And surprisingly, Spain is notorious for hosting various festivals like this popular throughout the world.