La Tomatina takes place in Buñol, Valencia, Spain Buñol is a small village on the edge of Spain.
History of La Tomatina La Tomatina began in 1945 when a group of young men got into a fight and, taking advantage of a nearby fruit and vegetable stand, began throwing tomatoes at each other. The police broke up the altercation and the men involved were made to pay restitution to the vendor. The following year the group planned another fight and brought their own tomatoes which inspired the tradition. It continued until the early 1950’s when the fight was prohibited by the town council. Protests ensued and townsfolk even went as far as having a “tomato funeral”. Finally in 1957, the town council allowed the fight to continue and have supplied the tomatoes since 1980.
People that celebrate La Tomatina The native people of Buñol celebrate this festival shortly after a festival that honors their Patron Saint. Also, this festival brings a lot of tourist attraction. Anywhere from 40,000 to 50,00 people come to partake in this huge food fight, which is a big shock to the 9,000 person population in Buñol.
Food The night before La Tomatina the streets are filled with people participating in the traditional Paella cook- off.
Traditions To begin the festival a ham is placed on the top of a very tall, greased pole. People compete to climb to the top to retrieve it. Once someone finally reaches the top and grabs the ham, the festival starts!
Rules Do not bring bottles or hard objects as they can cause accidents and may hurt other participants. Do not rip other people’s T-shirts. (Highly ignored) You must squash the tomatoes before throwing them as this reduces the impact. Ensure you keep a safe distance from the lorries. (The trucks hauling the tomatoes) As soon as you hear the 2 nd shot, you must stop throwing tomatoes!
Advice for surviving La Tomatina Don’t wear flip-flops, you may get hurt or lose them. Wear old clothes you don’t plan on wearing again. (Basically, clothes you don’t mind being ripped off…) Bring goggles. If you plan to take pictures bring a waterproof camera…tourists and people with cameras are prime targets!
Songs One traditional song that is widely known is called Ek Junoon (Paint it Red) by ZNMD. The song is very upbeat and fun. It repeats “Paint it Red!” over and over as people dodge tomatoes.
Fun Facts There is no political or religious belief behind La Tomatina. Number of participants from around the world typically average about 20,000 people. Every year the fight is televised by the most prestigious agencies in Spain. La Tomatina sees the sacrifice of about 150,000 tomatoes in under an hour! The tomatoes come from Extremadura, where inferior tasting tomatoes are grown just for the big event.
Similar to La Tomatina in America! In Reno, Nevada the American Cancer Society organized an hour long tomato fight in 2009. They gave full credit to the Spanish by also calling it La Tomatina.
La Tomatina Vocabulary La paella - Spanish seafood stew El desfile - parade El caos - chaos Ensuciar - to dirty, make messy Aplastar - to squash, smash Agacharse - to duck (down) La batalla - to battle Los fuegos de artificios - fireworks El cubo - bucket Podrido - rotten Botar – to dump, tip over Sangriento – bloody Las gagas – goggles El objectivo – target teoría - theory
Seirra, L. &. T. (2012, January 20). La tomatina- tomato fight. Retrieved from http://spanishfood.about.com/od/holidaysfeasts/a/ latomatina.htm http://spanishfood.about.com/od/holidaysfeasts/a/ latomatina.htm La tomatina. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.spain.info/en/vive/fiestas/valencia/la_t omatina.html http://www.spain.info/en/vive/fiestas/valencia/la_t omatina.html La tomatina, bunol (valencia). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.donquijote.org/culture/spain/society/h olidays/tomatina.asp http://www.donquijote.org/culture/spain/society/h olidays/tomatina.asp
???’s Which city in the U.S. also hosts a tomato fight? In what year did La Tomatina begin? Where are the tomatoes for the festival grown? What event led to La Tomatina? In what year did La Tomatina officially become a festivity?