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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
La Tomatina is Valencia’s annual festival and one of the biggest food fights in the world. It traditionally occurs in a town called Buñol, every last Wednesday in August. If you’re not familiar with La Tomatina, we should let you know that it involves tomatoes. And lots of them. They’re thrown, squashed, spilled, and most importantly, battled with. You have to prepare for this unique battle – scroll to the bottom for Spotahome’s La Tomatina checklist!
Where: Buñol, Autonomous Community of Valencia
When: Last Wednesday of August. Around midday. The festival lasts for one hour, however, as it’s very popular, we advise to get there as early as possible.
How to get there: Starting at Colon station, take a subway line 6 to Sant Isidre station and change to a C3 train at Valencia Sant Isidre train station. The journey takes approximately 1h 20 minutes.
La Tomatina’s history
This unique festival dates back to the last Wednesday of August** **1945, when a few friends decided to attend the Giants and Big-Heads figures parade. Their spirits and energy were so high, it made one of the podium participants fall into a market stall of vegetables, resulting in anger. The friends didn’t know it back then, but their energy made history – everyone around them started battling with tomatoes.
The young friends returned next year, with their own set of tomatoes. And while this tradition tried to get canceled several times during the years, the word about it quickly spread around, creating maybe one of the oddest and at the same time most exciting festivals in Spain.
La Tomatina kicks off with a slice of ham, hanging from a pole. Yes, you read that right. As it’s retrieved, the crowd chants and sings in encouragement while being hosed down with water. And then it begins.
Sounds exciting? Show up early and make sure you come fully prepared for the battle!
Your La Tomatina checklist
Waterproof everything. Things will get wet, red and dirty. Waterproof your belongings to ensure you won’t feel bad for all the fun you will have. If you can, leave everything at your accommodation.
White clothes. White clothes are the festival’s tradition – while not compulsory, they will be able to tell an excellent story of the battle that took place.
Extra clothes. Wear clothes you’re not necessarily fond of as you will have to throw everything away,** including shoes**, after the battle. Make sure you bring everything you need, so you can fully change into comfortable, not ‘tomatoed’ clothing.
Eye protection. People with contact lenses might need to invest into eye protection. La Tomatina participants are seen wearing goggles and even masks to protect themselves from flying tomatoes.
Food. As many places tend to be closed (and protected), make sure you pack enough food to last you for a whole day. Don’t forget to make sure you stay hydrated!
We can’t wait to see you at La Tomatina!
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