Let's Go La Tomatina - Crazy Tomato Festival in Bunol

They say every adult is a kid inside. And what could be better to release it than fool around a bit. You know, like playing snowballs or La Tomatina!

Yes, in the Spanish (Valencian) town of Bunol went further. They choose to throw tomatoes to have fun to the maximum. Maybe because there is no snow in Spain, I don't know. But that's how La Tomatina - a crazy tomato festival had appeared.

la tomatina festival in spain Image by © orelireshka

In This ArticleHow to have fun at La Tomatina - the world famous food fight festival of throwing tomatoes, held annually in Bunol, Spain

Table of Contents

What Exactly Is La Tomatina?

La Tomatina is an extraordinary festival of tomato fight, hosted every last Wednesday of August in the Valencian town of Bunol.

A bit of history:

Since 1945 its participants throw tomatoes to each other. Lots of ripe, red tomatoes. Actually 150 tons of them.

And it all started because of a regular quarrel, happened near a vegetable stall. Guess what was on hands of those people? Right - tomatoes!

That's how a little provincial and quiet town of Bunol become world famous location to go crazy at a red vegetable battle. Welcoming 22,000 of revellers.

la tomatina bunol Image by © orelireshka

8 Quick Facts about La Tomatina

  • The festival is going since 1945, the cause was a scuffle between locals
  • A little Spanish town of Buñol, 40 km west of Valencia , hosts the event
  • There is no other reasons for celebration than just for fun
  • The festival was banned during the 1970s for having 'no religious significance'
  • 150 tons of tomatoes are used during a tomato battle
  • 22,000 of participants gather from around the world
  • La Tomatina lasts for 1 hour
  • Participation ticket costs € 10

"Spain’s messiest festival .. for the full La Tomatina experience, stay in Buñol for the week-long celebration, which involves music, dancing and fireworks. The night before the event, a paella cooking competition is held", recommends Lonely Planet

How Is La Tomatina Going?

The festival starts around 11 am, but you have to be ready from night to not miss it. The point is Bunol is a small town (about 10 K citizens) and has no free hotels / hostels (the prices in general rise).

Hence, to be in time at place you have 3 options: 1 - book a hotel in advance, 2 - sleep in the nearest Valencia, 3 - sleep on the street.

And since the August nights in Bunol are warm (around 25C) the street option is a popular one among tourists.

la tomatina before the festival Image by © orelireshka

So, people start gathering around 9 am. To pass to Bunol by car you must make it until 7 am, otherwise on foot.

To enter La Tomatina you have to buy a ticket first, which costs € 10. A ticket to the festival includes a shower and box storage for your stuff.

Change clothes before entering the festival zone. Because whatever you'd wear will become unsuitable after tomatoes.

So here we are, on the central street of Bunol - Plaza del Pueblo. 22,000 of us - revelers ready for tomato craziness.

la tomatina crowds in bunol Before the start. Image by © orelireshka

The noise around is deafening. Everybody wait the tomato fight. It will begin right after someone will reach and touch a Jamon which is attached to a pillar. To make things funnier, that pillar plastered with soap.

la tomatina get reach jamon Image by © orelireshka

'Tomatina' - scanning people, while being showered with water. Finally, some adroit guy reach the Jamon. And we hear the sound of 2 cannon shots.

la tomatina festival jamon Image by © orelireshka

The festival begins!

The crowd parted, allowing trucks loaded with tomatoes enter to release their red cargo. The sea of vegetables.

la tomatina trucks with tomatoes Image by © orelireshka
la tomatina festival starts Image by © orelireshka

150 tons of tomatoes are used at La Tomatina.

It is hard to choose the right words to describe this food fight. Craziness, madness, simply something unbelievable. The mess.

la tomatina tomato fight Image by © orelireshka
la tomatina festival participant Wear goggles to protect your eyes. Image by © orelireshka

This is the most reckless festival I ever seen. The bacchanalia, with no other meaning but for fun, said Evgeny Sinelnikov - an experienced traveler.

la tomatina people and tomatoes Image by © orelireshka

And indeed it is. Tomatoes are flying from everywhere. Thousand of revelers hurl them around and pour out to neighbors' by the scruff of the neck cocktails of tomato juice.

From up and down - the ocean of tomatoes alongside with the noise like you're in a stadium during a football match.

Some people occupy prime locations in the trucks to throw veggies from above. Those are the most expensive places, around € 500.

la tomatina tomato battle Image by © orelireshka

And about in an hour from the festival start, when you already don't see anything but tomatoes - sounds another sound of shot. The final one.

La Tomatina is over.

la tomatina tomato festival Image by © orelireshka

Smiling and satisfied people, literally swim in tomato - rivers. Take photos and pose for them - to evidence the festival which won't be forgotten anyway.

la tomatina participants Image by © orelireshka
la tomatina Image by © orelireshka

Then everybody go showering to clean skin which began to itch because of the juice, and it won't stop till the next day for sure :) But it was worth it, right?!

la tomatina shower after the festival Image by © orelireshka

And while happy participants dry out under the Sun, locals clean the streets which top to bottom in tomatoes.

la tomatina town after tomato fight Image by © orelireshka
la tomatina festival cleaning Image by © orelireshka

About in two - three hours Bunol is clean, until the next year, the next Tomatina!

la tomatina bunol Image by © orelireshka

The Rules at La Tomatina 2019

To host the tomato festival in a safe and fair way there are a few important rules to follow:

  • Always squash the tomatoes before you throw them. Thus, your hit won't harm
  • Do not enter hard objects, like bottles, they can cause an accident
  • Keep a safe distance of the trucks
  • Do not throw your clothes, e.g. T-shirts
  • Respect other participants
  • Stop throwing tomatoes after the 2 sound of a cannon shot
  • Protect your eyes with the goggles (better - made of unbreakable plastic)
  • Use waterproof cameras

Check the organizers official website for more information

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