What is the La Tomatina Festival?

La Tomatina is often billed as the world's biggest food fight.
La Tomatina is often billed as the world's biggest food fight.

La Tomatina is a famous Festival in Spain. It is an annual event which involves thousands of people who engage in a tomato fight for an hour. La Tomatina festival is crowned as the biggest annual food fight in the world.

History of the Festival

It is speculated that La Tomatina festival began either in 1944 or 1945. There are countless stories as to how the festival began. One story says that an incredibly bad singer regularly performed at the town square in Bunol town. One day people decided they had had enough of him and they picked tomatoes from nearby vendors and threw them at him. Their action turned out to be so exciting that they agreed to repeat it the following year which is how the tradition started. Another version tells of how angry town dwellers attacked the city officials during a celebration in Bunol. La Tomatina festival has proved to be an exciting and popular exercise. When the festival began, participants brought their tomatoes to the fight. But as the event grew in popularity, the town officials took up the role of providing the tomatoes. The tomatoes are brought in huge trucks.

Festival Dates

La Tomatina festival happens annually in the month of August. The specific day is usually the last Wednesday of the month. The event starts at 10 am and lasts for an hour. The venue for the event in the town of Bunol is in Valencia province in Spain. The festival attracts many local and international tourists. The week of the festival is usually parked with many exciting activities for the visitors.

Rules of the Festival

All participants at La Tomatina festival must observe certain rules. The rules include;

  • No hard objects are allowed into the fight to prevent people from hurting others.
  • Tomatoes should be squashed before being thrown to minimize the impact on other participants.
  • Ripping other people’s clothes is forbidden
  • People should not throw tomatoes after the slotted time is up

Similar Festivals

La Tomatina festival has been so successful that similar festivals were started in other parts of the world. The ‘Colorado Texas Tomato War’ is a celebration that was inspired by the Tomatina festival, and it kicked off in 1982. Other countries that host tomato festivals include Colombia, Costa Rica, and China. In India, a planned tomato festival was called off after people condemned the event for its wastage of tomatoes.

Benefits of La Tomatina Festival

La Tomatina festival is a world famous celebration event that provides good publicity for Spain. The festival is usually broadcast on international television channels a factor that boosts Spain’s image to the world. Additionally, La Tomatina contributes to the tourism industry in Spain as thousands of tourists visit the Spanish town to participate in the festival.The festival generates large sums of money through ticket sales. Lastly, La Tomatina festival is an integral part of the Spanish culture. Most people in the country look forward to the annual festival. Considering the growth the event has experienced, it is clear that La Tomatina festival is famous inside and outside of Spain.


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