La Tomatina in Buñol
August is the month of La Tomatina. Since 1945 the people of Buñol, a small town in Valencia, have been throwing tomatoes at each other purely for fun on the last Wednesday of this month.
While no one is certain how this madness begun, the most popular theory involves angry townspeople rioting against city councilmen and attacking them with tomatoes during a town celebration. We’re not sure if both parties enjoyed it but sure enough this food fight would be repeated every year and has now become of the most iconic traditions in Spain.
The town council is now responsible for hosting it and tickets are sold to limit the number of participants and ensure everyone’s safety and fun. The festival lasts for a whole hour until an indicative shot means no more tomatoes can be thrown. Fire trucks hose down the aftermath and the acidity of the tomato leaves the village cobblestone streets completely clean and disinfected. Some participants go to the pool of “los peñones” to clean up or simply wash away the tomato paste from their bodies with hoses provided by the locals.
If you're ever lucky enough to be in Buñol this time of the year just remember these 4 simple rules:
1. Always squash your tomatoes before throwing them to avoid injuring others
2. Do not throw any other projectiles than tomatoes
3. Make way for passing trucks and lorries
4. Do not throw any more tomatoes after the second indicative shot is fired