At the end of August annually, thousands of people come together in the Valencian town of Buñol wearing only snorkelling masks and underpants with the intention of throwing as many rotten tomatoes at strangers as they can.
This small town has a population of only 9,000 people. However whenever it’s time for this exciting cultural event, nearly 40, 000 visitors come for this tomato fight, which is known as La Tomatina.
The streets become flooded with tomatoe puree, and crowds and crowds of people from across the globe pelt each other with mushy tomatoes in what is without a doubt the world’s largest tomato fight.
The fight lasts for only one hour, but more than 150,000 tomatoes are splattered in this short amount of time. But why, you may ask?
This festival is reported to have began in the 1940’s when during a much less exciting street parade, someone started throwing vegetables at the crowd from a local market stand. People started to retaliate, and soon enough it led to a massive food fight.
People had so much fun, that the following year, people brought their own tomatoes to the parade and started up another fight. The authorities of course weren’t the biggest fans of the newly found tradition at first and tried to break up the fight for several years.
In the early 1950s, it was actually completely banned. But the tradition never really went away due to it’s popularity. Eventually, the state allowed for it, and it became what we know it be today. Now it is such a big deal, that the entire week leading up to the fight is filled with events such as parades, paella cooking contests and fireworks.
It’s a completely unforgettable experience.
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