Celebrating the Tomato Festival in Spain

One such festivity of Spain that could span years, decades or even centuries of popularity is the La Tomatina or the famed Tomato Fight. This happens every last Wednesday of August every year in the little town of Bunol. The town hosts this strange yet quite enjoyable “feast” year in and year out in the beautiful province of Valencia in Spain. Rumor has it that the “official” start of this event could be traced as far back as the 1940s.

La Tomatina festival

We know the phrase “Latin lover” very well, so why a fight in the predominantly Hispanic country? Well, this is not really about war or hate but it is all about love – the love for fun, or fun of a different kind. Fighting here involves a non-violent yet equally rowdy way of releasing some fun. Basically, it involves tons and tons of over-ripe red tomatoes being thrown at people – yes, people! – all in the spirit of fun.

The tomato food fight happens for about an hour, with signals being given to start and end the food fight. Just imagine the squishy red splatters going on in that hour! Everybody who has participated in this event swears that with the tons of tomatoes, tons of laughter and giggles are also thrown around. Because of this, the Tomato Fight festival has garnered thousands of curious participants not just from neighboring provinces of Spain but from all over the world as well.

Many speculations about as to how this crazy and messy food fight began. But all clues point to people merely having fun. Some origins trace back to certain events like some townsfolk protesting local politicians by throwing rotten tomatoes at them, or a simple food fight between jolly neighbors, or some young punks throwing available vegetable they could get a hold on to a parade festivity which left them out. Things like that, whether verified or unverified, add mystery and more color to this yearly event.

But no matter how it started or who started it, the most important thing is, the colorful event will be there to stay – for more people to come. Arriba!