22.05.2024 | 04:55

’La Tomatina’, Spain’s great tomato fight festival

17 August, 2022

La Tomatina de Buñol (Valencia) tomato throwing festival is set to take place on 31 August, and this year marks its 75th anniversary. The unique event has become increasingly popular both in Spain and abroad and consists of an entertaining war of ripe tomatoes, brought in by the ton on lorries, which participants use to ‘attack’ each other.

The high-intensity celebration began in 1945 when a group of local youths, who were bored watching the parade of model giants and big-heads pass by, decided to make room for themselves in the procession. This inevitably caused an altercation, and the argument was settled by throwing products from a nearby fruit and vegetable stall at each other.

The following year, they decided to re-enact the fun, in spite of opposition from the authorities, who were against the popular event and went so far as to cancel it in 1957. One way or another, La Tomatina endured, and its popularity grew from the 1980s onwards. Today, thousands of people take part, fully prepared with diving goggles and clothes they know won't survive the experience.

In 2022, after two years of forced hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Buñol Town Council is fully committed to a festival that attracts both national and international tourists. In fact, they come from all over Europe and as far as Asia. La Tomatina is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.