We’ve all seen the crazy Tomatina fest in the popular Bollywood movie, Zindagi Milegi na Dobara. If all the madness seemed fun, here is quick view of what this insane celebration looks like.
Festivals and colors aren’t exactly meaningless beyond the Indian borders, unlike what most Indians would believe. Yes, we have Holi, which is a riot of colors, but the slushy, ‘organic’, monochrome red ‘La Tomatina’ festival of Spain has its own attractions.
Held in the Valencian town of Buñol, located 30 km from the Mediterranean, this festival is coveted as the world’s largest food fight with a gathering of over 40,000 people.
Every year, La Tomatina fight is held on the last Wednesday of August. Date for current year madness is 30th August.
The week leading up to the massive slug-fest is adorned with massive parades and fireworks. On the eve of the main event, a contest is held wherein contestants compete to cook the best Paella, a Valencian rice dish that includes saffron, chicken, seafood, etc.
The festival begins with the retrieval of a ham slice from the top of a greasy pole at Palo Jabon. What succeeds it is a 1 hour tomato fight. Be warned – La Tomatina is definitely not for claustrophobes or the faint hearted. However if your idea of fun accommodates tomato slush, ripped t-shirts, and a ginormous street party , don’t think twice, this is going to be one hell of an experience.
But don’t eat those tomatoes! No, they are not toxic. But even so, they are the low quality, poor taste, and cheap variants, specially grown and imported from Extremadura, a beautiful tourist destination situated 570 km away from Bunol.
P.S. Extremadura is the perfect holiday destination for birdwatchers, history buffs, nature lovers and foodies. For a cheap Spain tour package, click here.
After the food fight is done with, the streets are washed by fire-trucks using a Roman aqueduct. The acid in the tomatoes leaves the streets squeaky clean, and at the same time, it works wonders for your skin as well. But that doesn’t mean you can skip a bath after all the mess!
Once you’re back in Valencia, hop over to the Tomatina After Party and dance the night away.
So if this sounds fun to you, clear those planners for August and head to Buñol in Spain for some La Tomatina fun!
Here is a collection of some bizarre images of the La Tomatina.
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