Can you imagine over 20,000 people getting together to just throw tomatoes at each other? That’s exactly what happened in the town of Bunol in Spain on August 26. 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. Thousands of pounds of tomatoes are thrown within the one hour that the fight lasts. The city of Bunol has been hosting the festival for 70 years.
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 Chile, China, Colombia, and the United States.
Spain has some very unique festivals. Hundreds of people run in front of bulls every morning during the 8 days of the San Fermín festival. Another festival is Las Fallas. Huge models (sometimes of famous people) are created out of paper mache and wood. These models are paraded during the festival and eventually burned. People dress up in military costumes and throw flour and eggs at each other during the Els Enfarinats festival.
You can watch a video of this year’s La Tomatina here.
Did you know?
The town of Ivrea in Italy has an annual orange fight.
Image Credit: http://tomatina.es/ for La Tomatina’s image, google.com for the Google Doodle image, http://www.theguardian.com/
Sources: http://tomatina.es/, google.com, http://www.turismo.navarra.es/, http://www.visitvalencia.com/, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/, www.slate.com