Tomatina Festival Bunol

La Tomatina 2013 Is ……

La Tomatina is a food fight festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Bunol near Valencia. For years thousands upon thousands of people have made their way from all corners of the world to fight in this ‘World’s Biggest Food Fight’ where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets.

The week-long festival features music, parades, dancing, and fireworks. On the night before the tomato fight, participants of the festival compete in a paella cooking contest. This is one social event in Spain that really shouldn’t be missed.

It’s said that up to 50,000 (reported to be 50,000 in 2012) people come to this huge tomato fight, greatly expanding Bunol’s normal 9,000 person population. There is limited accommodation for people who come to La Tomatina, so many people take the easier option of staying in nearby Valencia just 38km to Bunol by bus or train, or they opt to stay in the lively resort of Benidorm and travel to Bunol on the day of the festival!. In preparation for the dirty mess that will ensue, shopkeepers use huge plastic covers on their storefronts in order to protect them from the carnage.

What Happens at La Tomatina ….

At approximately 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 or woman for themselves!!

How did La Tomatina Start …..

The tomato fight has been a strong tradition in Bunol since 1944 or 1945. No one is completely certain how this event originated. Possible theories on how the Tomatina began include a local food fight among friends, a juvenile class war, a volley of tomatoes from bystanders at a carnival parade, a practical joke on a bad musician, and the anarchic aftermath of an accidental lorry spillage.

One popular theory is that disgruntled townspeople attacked city councilmen with tomatoes during a town celebration. Whatever happened to begin the tradition, it was enjoyed so much that it was repeated the next year, and the year after that, and so on. The holiday was banned during the Spanish State period under Francisco Franco for having no religious significance, but returned in the 1970s after his demise.

The festival is in honor of the town’s patron saints, Luis Bertran and the Mare de Deu dels Desemparats (Mother of God of the Defenseless), a title of the Virgin Mary.

At www.hotels.tv/benidorm we have many options to choose from for the food fight festival, so wherever you want to stay on the Costa Blanca, get in touch with us and we’ll make sure you’ll be throwing tomatoes in August!!!

UK 0843 207 4195 – Es +34 965 854 673 – e costablanca@hotels.tv

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