Wednesday, 31 August 2011

La Tomatina - Tomato Fight Festival

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La Tomatina is held on the last wed in Aug every year, which happens to be today!! It's held in a small town Bunol, 38 km from the more well known Valencia, hosts to the Formula One in Spain. 
The population size of Bunol is around 9000 but on this particular day, up to 40000 tourist will flock here for the festival so you can imagine how crowded it can get!!

I had to the chance to witness this unusual event in 2007 and what an experience it was!! I went there with 2 girlfriends but i would recommend having some guys with you as it can get rowdy and guys will try to rip your tshirts off! So yes!! Some bodyguards are highly advisable!
We were all excited and came dressed in clothes we were prepared to throw away, fresh clothes in waterproof bags, and also a waterproof disposable camera. One thing were didn't have was goggles which would have came in really handy. 

Crowds were immense and right in the centre of town, there wasn't any need for us to walk anymore since we were just pushed along! Everyone was just getting squished!! 

At around 10 am, quite a few huge trucks will drive into the town centre carrying 100 tons of (supposedly over-ripe) tomatoes, water cannons are fired to mark the start and the fight begins! 
Participants are suppose to squash the tomatoes before throwing them but of course, that doesn't always happen and I don't actually think that some of the tomatoes are overripe as it was quite painful when i got hit!
The pelting of tomatoes lasts for only an hour and water cannons are then fired again to mark the end of the fight. Once they are sounded, no more tomatoes can be thrown and the cleaning up begins.
Fire trucks are used to hose down the streets and they do it really quickly too! The streets get cleaned up in on time at all! Some of the residents will also come out of their houses to hose the participants down.
The smell of tomatoes stuck with us for the next 2 days and we came out of it with some bruises but it was a fun experience!!! A waste of tomatoes though. 


  1. What an experience Sylvia. Thank you so much for sharing. I was quite curious about this tradition. It sure does seem like a bit of a waste of tomatoes though...

    Thanks again for sharing...

  2. I've seen it in the news before (or was it documentary, forgot). I wonder if those tomatoes are regular tomatoes... you know, nice edible tomatoes or bad shape, and not good enough for sell... Well, you are lucky to see it in person! It's a fun lifetime experience!

  3. Wow, an extreme experience! What annoys me though is the fact that so much food is being wasted...



  4. Louise, Rosa: yes, I agree that it's really a waste of such wonderful tomatoes too.

    Nami: I read somewhere that these tomatoes were specially brought it from a certain part of spain as it's really cheap there, so the tomatoes are edible. I saw some(before they were thrown) that looked very edible too.

  5. This is WILD!!!! Yes - I can imagine that goggles would have come in quite handy. :) What a crazy tradition, but at least it's safe. Not like the running of the bulls. Enjoyed this post!

  6. Sounds very fun! I really want to go there someday! with bodyguard as you advised. lol


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