70 Happy years of tomato fights – La Tomatina, Spain

70 Happy years of tomato fights – La Tomatina, Spain

For most of us, La  Tomatina – the tomato festival of Spain might remind the scenes of ZNMD (atleast for me, it does 😛 ) and today is that very day. This Spanish annual tomato festival is usually celebrated on the last Wednesday of August, but today i.e 26th August,2015 is its 70th anniversary.

The tomato festival is celebrated every year in Bunol of Spain but this year the entire web is celebrating it through this tomato-ey google doodle.
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History – Looking back at this festival takes us back to the last Wednesday of August 1945, where a bunch of youngsters went to attend the “Giants and Big-Head figures parade” with a musician. Somewhere started a commotion and a person fell off and started hitting everything around him in rage, there fell a vegetable stall as a victim to his rage and soon the crowd started to pelt each other with tomatoes until they were stopped by cops.

Those youngsters did not stop there, the following year again on the last Wednesday, they picked up a quarrel and started throwing tomatoes at each other which they brought from home this time. Again with the intervention of police, the fight was stopped for that year. La Tomatina, did not stop in-spite of being banned several times and fellow youngsters being arrested. In turn, it became bigger and better with more people and more frenetic feelings.

In the year 1957, some young people planned to celebrate “the tomato’s funeral“, with singers, musicians, and comedies. Considering this popularity of the festival and the alarming demand, 1957 saw the festival becoming official with certain rules and restrictions. Slowly, it turned into a traditional festival and from 1980, the town council took the ownership to organize this festival. Since then, the number of participants increased year after year as well as the excitement about La Tomatina Festival.

In 2002, in the month of August La Tomatina of Bunol was declared Festivity of International Tourist Interest. In 2013, town officials introduced an entry fee and limited the number of participants, citing concerns over safety.

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Celebrations – Whatever may be the reason how this started, but this is definitely a wonderful thing to celebrate and should definitely make it into your bucket list.

During La Tomatina, there come a string of trucks laden with 150 tonnes of tomatoes rolled through the town’s narrow streets as teams on board distribute the load to surrounding crowds for people to throw at each other for the hour-long morning festivities. And this festival attracts huge lots of crowd especially foreigners from Britain, Japan, Australia and the United States.

If you can’t afford to go to Spain, but still want to be a part of it?? Lol, we don’t have a solution for it 😛

A few fun enthusiasts like you and me have already tried to organize such tomato festival in cities like Bangalore, Mysore and New Delhi which received grave dissent from the government and are banned for now. So, plan to Spain or celebrate in your tomato backyard 😛

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Lavanya Tatikonda
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