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La Tomatina Festival

Aug 26, 2015

Spain's La Tomatina is one of the hottest festivals the world has to offer. Not only does it feature ham and greased poles, it also finishes off with a city-wide tomato fight. We've got the lowdown on the messiest holiday in the world.

Where Is It?

La Tomatina is celebrated on the last Wednesday in August in the small town of Bunol in eastern Spain. This year the festival takes place on August 31st, 2016.  The festival began way back in 1944 but there is no known religious or political basis for it. Some people guess it began as a food fight among children or that local townspeople chucked tomatoes to show their dislike of a local politician. Whatever the case, the event caught on and has happened every year until the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco banned the festival for "having no religious significance." However, the town resumed the event after Franco died in the '70s.

La Tomatina FestivalLa Tomatina Festival

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

A week-long festival leads up to the big tomato fight, which includes parades, fireworks and even a paella cooking contest. On the big day, shopkeepers board up their storefronts to protect them from the impending mess and a ham is placed at the top of a tall, greased pole which must be retrieved before the tomato tossing can begin. At 11 AM sharp, participants struggle to climb to the top of the pole to bring down the ham - then it's every man for himself as 240,000 pounds (108,900 kg) of tomatoes are pelted at everything that moves.

La Tomatina takes food fight to the next level!La Tomatina takes food fight to the next level!Courtesy of Ivett5 via Flickr
 

Did You Know?

  • La Tomatina participants are recommended to wear goggles to protect their eyes from the acid in the tomatoes.
  • La Tomatina safety regulations require that tomatoes are squished before being thrown so they don't hurt when they impact.
  • A cannon is fired to signal the beginning and end of the tomato-throwing.
  • Firefighters use water canons to wash down the streets after the festival.
  • Men and women often separate into warring factions during the tomato throwing. What a messy battle of the sexes!

Have Your Say

What do you think of La Tomatina? Let us know!

 

48 Comments

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Ever Been to La Tomatina?

  • Yes.
  • No.
  • No, but I want to go!
  • I know someone who went.

General In The Forums

StarlaDance16
StarlaDance16 posted in Debating:
thats true what does happenn, but. most assighnments are done during school hours in primary school.
reply about 1 hour
StarlaDance16
StarlaDance16 posted in Debating:
true @-Oracle-
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AwesomeIvysaurGirl34
I hope you didn't mind to do this, the current entries are good :D
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ThePaleWalker636
By request of @AwesomeIvysaurGirl34 . I will attempt to follow through as much as I can, but I would love some help from YOU, the reader. I will sometimes (often) suffer from writer's block and disinterest! If you enjoy what I've written, even in this short post, encourage me and give me ideas! It's all appreciated, even criticism. I will post as often as I write. A continuation of "The Man in the Coffee Shop", found in the forums.  A few (a lot) entrees are not included  due to laziness. December 7, 1941 Well, they’ve done it. Japan has bombed Pearl Harbor. I’ve been praying for much of the day for the families of those poor soldiers. I’ve been wondering if perhaps I should join the fight, though I might not have a choice soon enough. Drafting is sure to begin soon, as it won’t be long until Roosevelt declares war. It’s only been… what, three years?... and I feel this war has gone on long enough.   January 1, 1942 Happy New Year! Not very happy for me, though. My draft card came in today. I kind of knew it was inevitable, but… a man can hope, can’t he? Have to go pick up my uniforms now. That’s all for today   January 20, 1942 First day of Boot Camp. Yay… It was already the most exercise of my life. We ran a couple miles (I’ve never ran more than one), and I can tell my commander doesn’t like me. Lieutenant Michaels is his name. Been called out more than once by Michaels in front of everyone, and the food’s awful. But there’s this really cute secretary of his that I couldn’t catch the name of, but I already saw all the other recruits goggling at her. Pathetic, ain’t it? Talked to the guys and half of them are married already. It’s around 9:00, though I should say 2100? I think? Military time is confusing. But, the beds are a bit more comfortable than I expected. Actually, I don’t know what I expected. I don’t know the first thing about war, except a few stories from my grandpapy. He did some pretty amazing stuff back in the Great War. That smear right there is my chuckling and disturbing the pen. It’s just, they said the Great War was the “War to end all wars,” and here we are again. There’s nothing new under the sun, and human nature doesn’t change.  
reply about 2 hours
ThePaleWalker636
Okay, I'll try my best!
reply about 2 hours