Can you imagine some 22,000 people getting together to just throw tomatoes at each other? That’s exactly what happened in the town of Bunol in Spain on August 27. La Tomatina is a tomato fight festival that is held on the last Wednesday of August each year. It is probably the world’s largest food fight. This was the second time in the festival’s history that people had to pay money (10 euros) to take part. This year, over 125,000 kilos (275,000 pounds) of tomatoes were thrown within the one hour that the fight lasted.
This festival creates quite a mess. The city of Bunol has been hosting the festival for over 60 years, and has gotten pretty smart about it. Before the fight, the citizens of Bunol wrap up buildings with plastic, and after the fight, they hose down the town.
In the 1940s, some people got into a fight and hurled tomatoes at each other. This caught on, and became an annual tradition. However, after the first few years of the tomato fights, the city actually banned them. People who still threw tomatoes were put in jail. In 1957, the citizens of Bunol held “the tomato funeral” – they marched through town carrying a coffin with a single tomato inside. The city finally agreed to allow the fights, and later even started providing the tomatoes for the fights. The festival has become so popular that there are “La Tomatina” festivals held in other countries as well such as the United States, Chile, Colombia, and China.
You can watch a video from a previous year’s festival here.
Image Credits: http://www.tomatina.es/en/ for La Tomatina’s image
Sources: euronews, http://www.tomatina.es/en/