La Tomatina Festival in Spain

La Tomatina Festival in Spain

Evelyn Fraire

Castle on top of a hill overlooking Buñol, Spain

La Tomatina Festival is celebrated in Spain on the last Wednesday of August in Buñol; which is well known as a medieval town of 9,000 located about 25 miles west of Valencia.

Where it Originated?

This Festival is believed to have originated unofficially in 1944 or 1945 where a dispute arose between locals during a parade honoring the town’s patron saint, San Luis Bertran. According to people who attended this parade it is said that a group of rowdy youngsters knocked off the headpiece of a costumed entertainer and a fight broke out. Along with the frantic crowd everything proceeded to get worse. People started grabbing tomatoes from a nearby fruit stand and began hurling them at one another. People decided to repeat this food fight at the following year’s parade by bringing tomatoes from home.

How did it get worldwide attention?

This tradition continued up until the 1950s. While under General Franco’s regime, this tradition was very much a regional event up until 1983 a television broadcast garnered it worldwide attention.

In 2002 it was officially declared a festival of International Tourist interest. Today this Festival attracts people from around the globe from as far away as Japan and Australia. In the year 2013 the town hall introduced a ticketing system, which limited the amount of people who could attend this event to about 22,000 people. If there was already a total of 22,000 people you were not allowed entrance and had to wait until the next event came around. You have to be quick because as fun as this event sounds, I am pretty sure the tickets sell out very quickly.

This festival is as fun as it sounds, it is like a big tomato bath. Sadly, our town does not host food fights. It would be “incredibly fun though.” If you ever want to attend this festival you can look it up online at La Tomatina festival in Spain. You must keep in mind that it is celebrated only once a year and it is also popular worldwide – so the tickets sell out fast.

Information was collected from La Tomatina festival