La Tomatina…!!! it’s an emotion…!!

This year’s Tomato festival kicked off in Spain with the World’s Biggest Food Fight. Around 165 tons of the fruit were thrown, squished and splatted in an hour of fun in the annual event in the small town of Bunol.

Five thousand locals and 17,000 tourists gathered at the town 25 miles west of Valencia, for the festival.

August end marks the beginning of the very famous annual Spanish festival, La Tomatina. Held in the Valencian town of Bunol, the colorful and messy festival involves participants throwing thousands and thousands of over-ripe tomatoes at each other.

Every year approximately 40,000 tomato enthusiasts descend on the tiny Mediterranean town of Bunol to pelt each other with Tomatoes.

The tradition is said to have begun in August of 1945. Young people were attending a festival in the town of Bunol and wanted badly to be a part of the festivities. They

stormed a stage of musicians and began to dance and party with them in a festive manner. As a result, one of the musicians fell from the stage and knocked over a market stall full of fruits and vegetables into a disgruntled crowd of festivalgoers. It is said that those attending the festival began picking up the displaced fruits and pelt them at one another. The throwing continued until authorities broke up the madness. The following year, those who remembered the festival quarrel brought tomatoes from home and decided to relieve the vegetable fight again at the same event; pelting tomatoes at one another in a lively and fun manner.

The throwing of tomatoes was banned from the town of Bunol in the early 50’s. The authorities did not find in amusing and there were also many complaints from the older population of the town. In 1957, a tomato burial parade was held in August in the town as a sign of protest. Musicians played funeral tunes as they marched as 

coffin filled with the infamous vegetable. The people of the town were moved by the unity of the young people, and La Tomatina Bunol became an official festival.

The town of Bunol stresses that la Tomatina is a festival to promote happiness and entertainment. To prevent any mishaps, there are few rules to the festival, like, the tomatoes must be squashed prior to throwing, Tomatoes must stop being thrown after a timed indicator alarm and tomato is the only throwing object which is permitted.

In a fight that lasts for just an hour, around 150,000 tomatoes meet their fate. The Tomatoes used are low-quality, inferior in taste and come cheap from a place called Extremadura. Once the fight ends, Fire-fighters wash the streets and people down with hoses. Surprisingly enough, the village streets look quite clean with the acidity of the tomato acting as disinfectant.

There have been various 

recreations of the festival in Nevada, Chicago, Costa Rica and Columbia. Once, an attempt to recreate the festival in Bangalore in India was met with harsh criticism over the wastage of tomatoes that led to a ban of the event.

The number  of participants in the festival increases every year. In 2002, La Tomatina of Bunol was declared the festivity of international tourist interest by the Secretary, department  of Tourism due to its success.

Tomato Festival, like all the other festivals, makes people connected. Through tomato festival a cultural integration is possible in Spain. People all over the world arrive at Spain to enjoy the Festival. Different nations are recreating the festival in their nations. In this era of Ego,  tomatoes festival is turning out to be a synonym for the word unity. It keeps us united.  People in Spain, has kept everybody in this world united. It’s not just a festival, but  actually an emotion!! 

 

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