La Tomatina , Tomato Fight for Fun , Spain -
If you want to enjoy a total “let go” Festival, which is nothing but a pure fun then La Tomatina is the festival for you.
La Tomatina is a Spanish festival of Tomato Fight held on the last Wednesday of the month August in the town of Buñol of the Valencia region in Spain .Thousands of participants come from all over the world to fight in a harmless battle where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets.
It’s a really Funful festival. The weeklong festival features music, parades, dancing, and fireworks. On the night before the tomato fight, participants of the festival compete in a paella cooking contest.
It has recently caught limelight in south east Asia because of its apperence in the Hindi movie
"Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara"
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History of La Tomatina
The tomato fight has been a strong tradition in Buñol since 1944 or 1945. No one is completely certain how this event originated. Possible theories on how the Tomatina began include a local food fight among friends, a juvenile class war, a volley of tomatoes from bystanders at a carnival parade, a practical joke on a bad musician, the anarchic aftermath of an accidental lorry spillage. One of the most popular theories is that disgruntled townspeople attacked city councilmen with tomatoes during a town celebration. Whatever happened to begin the tradition, it was enjoyed so much that it was repeated the next year, and the year after that, and so on. The holiday was banned during the Spanish State period under Francisco Franco for having no religious significance, but returned in the 1970s after his demise.
The Festival : - La Tomatina
Approximately 30,000 people come to the tomato fight, multiplying by several times Buñol’s normal population of 9,000. In preparation for the dirty mess that will ensue, shopkeepers cover their storefronts in order to protect them from the carnage.
At around 10 AM., the first event of the Tomatina begins. A ham is placed upon a cockaigne pole It is called as the "Palo Jabyon"(a large, greased pole), and the tomato fight can begin only when someone is able to climb to the top and bring it down. People struggle against each other, climbing atop one another, in order to be the one to pull down the ham. With this victory, the tomato-throwing begins.
Several trucks throw tomatoes in abundance in the Plaza del Pueblo. The tomatoes come from Extremadura, where they are less expensive and are grown specifically for the holidays, and they are of inferior taste
The signal for the beginning of the fight is firing of the cannon, the firing the water shot in the air happens in the beginning and trucks make their entry. and the chaos begins. Once it begins, the battle is generally every man for himself. Those who takes part in this event are strongly encouraged to wear protective safety goggles and gloves. In addition, they must squish the tomatoes before throwing for safety precautions. Another rule is that no one is allowed to bring into this fight anything that may provoke someone into a more serious brawl, such as a glass bottle. It is highly frowned upon to tear someone else’s clothing. Somewhere between an hour and two hours, the fighting ends and the cannon is fired once more to signal the end. At this point no more tomatoes can be thrown. The estimated no. of tomatoes used are around 150,000 i.e. over 90,000 pounds. The cleaning process involves the use of fire trucks to spray down the streets, with water provided from a Roman aqueduct. The participants use hoses that locals provide to remove the tomato paste from their bodies. Some participants go to the pool of “los peñones” to wash. After the cleaning, the village cobblestone streets are pristine due to the acidity of the tomato disinfecting and thoroughly cleaning the surfaces.
There are not many accommodations for people who come to La Tomatina , and thus many participants stay in Valencia and travel by bus or train to Buñol, about 38 km outside the city.
Most people come for the day, arriving on the morning train from Valencia and heading back in the afternoon. But if you want the full La Tomatina experience, stay for the week-long celebration, which involve music, dancing, parades and fireworks. The night before the fight, a paella cooking competition is held where women traditionally dress in white, and men forego shirts altogether.
Some important tips and Must Follow Rules of the Festival :-
1. The tomatoes have to be squashed before throwing to avoid injuries.
2. No other projectiles except tomatoes are allowed.
3. Participants have to give way to the truck and lorries.
4. The festival doesn't allow ripping off T-shirts.
5. Wear clothes that later you throw away as you will never get it clean again!
6. Make sure you take a change of clothes for the return bus journey – there are some public showers in Buñol near the river. You cannot enter the bus with the dirty clothes! (throw it away or bring a plastic bag with you if you want to keep it as a souvenir!)
7. Bring goggles (or protect your eyes but don´t wear glasses). Tomato on your eye can be really acid!
8. Wear shoes that have a decent grip.
9. You must not take any bottles nor any kind of object that could cause any incident.
10. Be careful with lorries going through the village.
11. Cameras are seen as positive invitations to pelt the owner.
12. Women should be aware that a wet T-shirt competition is an unofficial part of the day.
If you don’t fancy being showered with soggy tomatoes, you can watch the spectacle in dry 13.comfort on Canal 9, Valencia’s local TV channel.
14. For more info visit www.latomatina.es (in Spanish).
15. After the second shot indicative of ending the tomato hurl, no tomatoes should be thrown.
For Hotel Booking and downloadable maps and Information of the City Valencia ( Buñol Valencia -La Tomatina ) Please Visit :-