Tomatina of Buñol
One of the summer funny parties in Spain is celebrated the last wednesday of the august each year at Buñol, a town located at the Autonomous Region of Valencia. You may hear it since the party consists of a tomato war and it is called “tomatina”, this day between 100 and 120 tons are used !!!!
The first fight happened in 1945 when some young boys disturbed an official parade by launching tomatoes of a vegetable shop for fun. Of course, they were arrested and ordered to pay back all damages but this event didn’t stop them to repeat it the next year but this time with their own tomatoes. After that, this joke became more and more famous each year to convert itself as an official party and classified as “Tourist International Interest” in 2002.
Before to win this title, the party lived some prohibited years during the 50s and only from 1959, it was declared as official and since 1980, the town council provides tomatoes to the participants. Moreover, since 2008, it has its own song called “todo es del mismo color” performed by a local group “Malsujeto”.
If you want to participate, you need to be at 10h at the main place (plaza del pueblo) for the first act called “palojabón” (stick soap). It consists to climb up on a post greased with soap where on its top part, there is a ham and the person who will be able to remove it, the ham is for him/her and it means the beginning of the party. Meanwhile the crowd sings and dances under a shower with hoses.
Around 11h, a firework announces the beginning of the war and you can start to throw tomatoes to your friends and “enemies”. Some small trucks will get in to provide you some munitions if you don’t bring your own ones but be careful, providers can launch you some in your face for their own pleasure.
1h after, a second firework will announce the end and the place will be totally red and full of tomatoes juice and you, normally, should be more or less at the same condition with some pieces stick on your body. Fireman will clean the streets with hoses and some citizens will do the same, take advantage to clean yourself.
The tomatoes come from Extremadura, where the cost is very cheap and they are cultivated specifically for this event since they are not good for the consumption so don’t worry to waste the most possible you can during the fight.
Beside to be “dirty”, when you are daubed of tomato, you wash your skin of impurities since it contains acid and this one cleans by disinfecting it.
Like you can guess, there are some rules to respect:
- the ripe tomato should be crushed with the hands before to be launched
- you should not bring any bottles or any tools which can produce accidents
- you should not tear shirts, neither launch them
- be careful of the small trucks
- at the second firework, stop to throw tomatoes.
Except that, some advices:
- don’t wear thongs but tennis shoes for example and ones that you don’t care
- same thing for shirts, use one that you don’t care because surely, it will end completely tore
- use gloves and something to protect your eyes like swimming glasses
- if you want to take picture meanwhile fighting, bring a waterproof camera
- never climb to a window, a column… because you will be at the mercy of all participants
- and of course, you have to enjoy this entertainment absolutely.
You can find this funny event in other countries like Sutamarchan in Colombia which celebrates it june 15th or also at Dongguan in China, october 19th.