La Tomatina Food Fight Festival
La Tomatina is a popular event in the Spanish tradition. This food fight festival involves tons of tomatoes and is held in August annually in Bunol near Valencia in Spain. Thousands of tourist flock each year to take part in this food fight and it has even been called the World’s Biggest Food Fight involving over one hundred tons of tomatoes.
The town of Bunol normally has a 9000 person population. In 2012, about 50,000 people took part in the huge tomato fight. Since 2013, an official ticketing system has been laid and this has limited the number of authorized participants to 20,000. This is because it requires considerable planning in order to accommodate such a surge in tourism in a small town. Most tourists stay in the town of Valencia which is located about 38 KM away from Bunol and travel by train or bus to reach the small town. As a preparation for the mess caused by the tomato fight, most shops cover their fronts with plastic protection before the food fight begins.
The tomato fight has existed since the 1940s in Bunol. Its origins cannot be traced back with certainty. Some theories suggest that the food fight began among friends in a market when tomatoes were being displayed. Another theory suggests that angry townspeople had attacked the city councilmen with tomatoes in the middle of a town celebration. Irrespective of the origin, the festival is now celebrated each year and is gaining more and more attention.