Celebrated every year on the last Wednesday in August
When: Last Wednesday in August
Where: Buñol, Valencia,
First occurrence: 1945
In 1945 on the last Wednesday of that August a
Giants and Big-Heads figures parade in Valencia got out
of hand when a fight broke out.
This fight escalated in a bigger fight.
Which escalated into involving some nearby produce stands.
Finally escalating into a massive and memorable food fight.
The next year, people reenacted that food fight with overripe
tomatoes because those grow quite abundantly in that region. It got messy and the participants vowed to do it again every year!
Despite objections from authorities, this annual food fight
grew out to be the festival we know today.
Nothing can stop it, except a pandemic….and only temporary.
People closely involved with organizing la Tomatina
claim that the festival does not waste food, because
the sheer abundance of tomatoes means that every harvest
there are plenty tomatoes that are past their edible states.
These tomatoes don’t taste well and are getting soft and squishy.
Which makes them excellent throwing-tomatoes.
The mess that the tomato puree makes in the street requires
a lot of hosing down afterwards. But the acidity of the
tomatoes also makes the tomatoes into a reasonably
good cleaning agent.
It is said that those streets are the cleanest shiniest
streets in Buñol, Valencia!