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by Esteban4
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies
World Culture

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La Tomatina festival started by accident. According to all people, there was a parade and festival in Buñol on the last Wednesday of August of 1945 when a fight broke out between some young men. They took advantage of a nearby fruit and vegetable vendor’s stall, they threw tomatoes at each other. The police broke up the fight and those responsible ended up paying restitution to the tomato vendor.

The Spanish eat tomatoes every day and prepare them in a variety of ways, including fresh, crushed, stewed or simmered in a sauce. Tomato sauce is served on the side with fried eggs, chicken, meat and omelets at most Spanish dinner tables.Since one of the principal tomatogrowing regions of Spain is the southeast, including Murcia and Valencia, it seems appropriate that the famous tomato fight takes place in Buñol, just west of the capital city of Valencia.

The celebration of Tomatina


Apparently planning ahead, the following year the young people brought tomatoes with them to the parade and started a tomato fight again. Each year the fight continued until the early 1950’s when it was prohibited by order of the town council, but some townsfolk insisted on creating a fight and were thrown in jail. Protests ensued, including a “Tomato Funeral” and finally, in 1957 the town council allowed the fight to continue. In fact, since 1980 the city government has provided the tomatoes!

La Tomatina TodayThe celebration continue to take place on the last Wednesday in August in the plaza mayor of Buñol. The tomatina starts at 11:00am with the sound of a rocket being fired and ends one hour later. Last year 40,000 people were expected to participate in throwing over 100 tons of ripe tomatoes in the streets and this year even more are expected.

Rules of the “Fight”According to La Tomatina’s official web site, there are five simple rules that must be followed. 1. You must not bring bottles or other type of objects which could cause an accident. 2. You must not tear or throw t-shirts. 3. The tomatoes must be squashed before throwing them, to avoid hurting people. 4. You must be careful of any lorry (truck or van). 5. When you hear the second shot, you must stop throwing tomatoes.


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