La Tomatina Festival

Not sure how comfortable I would feel drenched head-to-toe in liquid/chunk tomato, but apparently this is a THING to do, it’s renowned, worldwide. Have you ever heard of it? Because I never have… so I did a little research.

“What Happens at La Tomatina…
At around 11 am, the first event of the Tomatina begins. Many trucks haul the bounty of tomatoes into the center of the town, Plaza del Pueblo. The tomatoes come from Extremadura, where they are less expensive. Technically the festival does not begin until one brave soul has climbed to the top of a two-story high, greased-up wooden pole and reached the coveted ham at the top.

In practice this process takes a long time and the festival starts despite no one reaching the meaty prize. The signal for the beginning of the fight is firing of water cannons, and the chaos begins. Once it begins, the battle is generally every man for himself.” Read more>>

At the 2012 festival, held on the last Wednesday of August yearly, “authorities estimated more than 40,000 people, some from as far away as Japan and Australia, took up arms with 100 tons of tomatoes in the yearly food fight.”

Some of my favorite shots:

Photos source: telegraph.co.uk “La Tomatina Festival 2012: the annual tomato fight.” < click to see more!

Some more video and images:

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Curious how it all started? Learn more on laTomatinatours.com. Also on their site, if you ever plan on going, some helpful festival “rules” and tips:

The Rules of La Tomatina

  • Do not bring bottles or hard objects as they can cause accidents and hurt other participants
  • Do not rip other people’s T-shirts
  • You must squash the tomatoes before throwing them as this reduces the impact
  • Ensure you keep a safe distance from the lorries
  • As soon as you hear the second shot, you must stop throwing tomatoes

Useful Advice

  • Wear closed shoes that you don’t mind throwing away afterwards. If you wear flip-flops, you may get hurt, or you could lose them easily during the battle
  • Wear old clothes, or clothes that you aren’t planning to wear again. They will most likely end up damaged from being ripped or incredibly dirty
  • You may find goggles useful. However, it is safer if you just ensure that you always have something clean to wipe your eyes with. The best thing is if you tuck your T-Shirt into your shorts to keep the bottom part of your T-shirt clean and dry
  • If you are planning to take pictures, bring a waterproof camera!
  • If you’re not from Buñol, and you want to stay overnight, don’t forget to look for and secure accommodation in advance
  • Do not miss the Palojabón – a soap-covered pole with a Spanish ham at the top: whoever can climb the pole and get the ham can keep it!
  • Stay safe and enjoy the festivities as much possible

Can you see me there?

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