Flickr. La Tomatina En Reno 024, MikeJamieson(1950). CC BY NC 2.0
La Tomatina: 5 things you need to know
Everybody loves a food fight, and nowhere in the world is the battle quite as hectic as in the Spanish town of Buñol - the home of La Tomatina.
Situated close to the city of Valencia in eastern Spain, Buñol is home to one of the most unique annual celebrations in the world. In case you haven’t heard, we’ve put together our own guide to the things you need to know about La Tomatina.
1. La Tomatina is probably the world’s largest food fight
Every year, thousands of people - many travelling from all over the world - descend upon the town to take part in La Tomatina, a gigantic food fight where everyone hurls pulped tomatoes at each other!
Flickr. La Tomatina, nedim chaabene. CC BY NC 2.0
For one hour, hordes of excited combatants quite literally paint the town red, in an ‘every man and woman for themselves’ fruit-based melee.
2. Injuries are rare, but it pays to be safe
The pulped tomato is soft, and participants are encouraged to protect their eyes with goggles and exercise caution on the slippery streets - so fortunately injuries are rare.
3. Nobody really knows how La Tomatina originated
The origins of this tradition are unclear, but appear to date back to the 1940s, and there are a variety of different tales as to how the first food fight began. Asking various locals will return a range of theories and tales - ranging from political protest to juvenile escapades. We’re not sure about any of these theories, so be sure take advantage of our cheap calls to Spain and investigate for yourself!
4. La Tomatina is held in the honour Saint Louis Bertran
In the 1970s the government - headed by General Francisco Franco - banned the celebration, claiming it was not religious. This is hard to dispute without proof of the true origin of La Tomatina, but the modern festival has taken on some religious significance in the local area - and is said to honour Saint Louis Bertrand.
5. JustCall has all the tips for a great time at La Tomatina
We want to spread the word about La Tomatina, and hopefully let as many people as possible know about this great event. To help you get the most out of the festival, here are some of our top tips for a good time!
- Wear appropriate clothing: Let’s face facts, you’re going to get covered in pulped tomato - so be sure to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting coated in fruit. Tomato stains are notoriously difficult to get out, so unless you’re keeping them as a souvenir then you’ll also probably want to bin the clothes after!
- Cover your eyes: Tomato juice is acidic, and can sting if it gets in your eyes. The last thing we want is for anyone to get hurt, so make sure you cover your eyes while taking part in La Tomatina. A pair of swimming goggles should do the trick nicely!
- Have fun, but respect others: It’s easy to get carried away amidst these exciting and unique celebrations. Not everyone on the streets will be taking part, so be sure to act responsibly and respect others. Property damage can also occur easily, so be careful not to throw tomato near homes and shops.