Perhaps one of the more bizarre festivals saved in the calendar is La Tomatina held in Buñol, West Valencia, which literally means tomato fight. Accompanying the fun is a five-day street party enjoyed by tourists and locals alike. Truckloads of over-ripe tomatoes are used as missiles, covering everyone and everything in their path in tomato pulp and juice. It is the ultimate food fight party you will ever experience.
This tradition is held every year, usually on the last Wednesday of August. This has been a tradition since 1945 when a group of young people was visiting Buñol for a parade. During the parade, one of the figures, big heads, masks fell off making them very angry. The fruit stand that was very close became the subject of their rage when the masked person began throwing fruits and tomatoes at everyone around them.
The next year a young group of people decided to organize a pre-planned argument ending in a huge tomato fight in the square, covering everything in its path. Unbeknown to the boys, this sparked the tradition of La Tomatina every year since then.
Las Tomatina was banned in the 1950s but this did not deter locals and tourists from participating in this festival, even with the threat of arrest. Protesters recreated a tomato burial for their final stand where they carried a coffin with a huge tomato inside through the town square. This stunt paid off as Spain soon recognized La Tomatina as an official festival day in Valencia.
This is one of the world’s ‘biggest food fights’ enjoyed by both tourists and locals. So if you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty and are looking for something fun to do while visiting Spain, make your way to Buñol in west Valencia this August.