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Ever wondered how many festivals exist? The merrier the festivals are the cherishing memories in it. To say, there are more than 800 festivals across the globe that are left unheard which can be enjoyed from the bottom of the heart. You might remember 2011 Bollywood film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara where the La Tomatina festival was featured portraying some beautiful glimpse of the festival in the film. This festival was acknowledged by Google when they made a Google Doodle of La Tomatina in August 2015.

August end marks the beginning of very famous Spanish festival, La Tomatina. This colourful and messy festival engages participants throwing tones of over-ripped tomatoes at each other. Can you imagine how crazy and weird these Spanish festivals are? Streets of the small Valencian town of Bunol become rivers of tomato juice.

La Tomatina is the world’s largest state-sanctioned food fight feast. Every year, approximately 40,000 tonnes of tomato enthusiasts descend of Bunol to pelt each other with tomatoes. Apart from this, there are more feasts that can be enjoyed before the food fight starts that includes parades, fireworks, competitions and even Paella cooking contests.

How it got started:

The food fight is originated from Street Brawl. In 1945, a street fight broke out between people during a La Tomatina feast in Bunol. When an individual started to pelt everyone with vegetables from a nearby market. The following year, the same participants picked a fight on purpose and brought their own tomatoes. Although officials banned the festival for few years in the early 50's and broke the tradition, but the vibe and popularity of the food fight was alive. Later on, the tradition was brought back, but in a more synchronized manner.

Ham marks the beginning of the fight:

If you are ready to crash your buddy with colourful tomato then definitely you need to visit this place on the day of La Tomatina, there is no fixed time allotted. A slice of ham is hung on the top of a greasy wooden pole. The mission is to climb up the pole and retrieve this slice of ham with the crowd chanting and singing in encouragement. The moment the ham dislodged, a loud signal goes off, trucks loaded with tonnes of tomatoes enter and then begins the chaos.

These fights that last for just an hour, but at that time 150,000 tomatoes are over-ripped are splattered. These tomatoes are low in quality and very cheap. They are brought from the place called Extremadura region of Spain. Over 40 metric tonnes of tomatoes are used.

The festival starts with the sound of a canon and ends with the second alarm. After the second alarm is sounded, no one is allowed to throw tomatoes.

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Attire to wear:

Most of the participants prefer dressing up in white because of the heat, or to see exactly how much of a mess the tomatoes make their clothes. Meanwhile, plenty of people wear swimming goggles to keep their eyes and nose protected from tomatoes.

Re-creation of Tomatina:

Because of this popularity, there have been various re-creations of the festival made in Nevada, Chicago, Costa Rica, China and Columbia. This festival was also re-created in Bangalore, India but because of harsh criticism over the 'Wastage of food' the event was soon banned.

Overall Majority:

Every year, approximately 9000 to 30000 people in Bunol appear on the day of the tomato battle. As there is only one hotel in the town, most of the people stay in Valencia located in Spain. That one-hour tomato fight makes the small town one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.


Sadly, the La Tomatina Festival has been cancelled for this year. The city council of Bunol decided to suspend the 2020 Tomatina fiesta because of COVID-19 pandemic. Those who made bookings have been offered refund or transfer of their bookings to 2021.

So, guys, worry not, next year tomato battle will be bigger, crazier and wacky. Spain is also famous for hosting some of the most interesting festivals in the world. Just prepare yourself to visit this wonderful place once again and have a beautiful experience.