Ceremonial Food Fight in Buñol, Spain

Tomatina Fest

Annual food fight in Valencia, thousands of tomatoes to be slung, lots of fun to be had, Karim Beerahee takes a look.

For the last 65 years the small provincial town Buñol, in Spain has paid homage to its two patron saints on the last Wednesday of every August not with quiet contemplation but ritual food fight, in the Tomatina Festival.

The genesis of this tradition is unclear, but the resulting celebration is not something to be missed. The cause of the fight has been attributed to a juvenile class war, local food fight among friends, a practical joke on a bad musician and a lorry spill in the town square. What you need to know is that around 20,000 people gather together to pelt tomatoes at each other come the end of the month.

The buildup towards the festival is also not to be missed, a week long celebration begins leading up to the fight with parades, fireworks, feasts and street parties. The night before the Tomatina begins you can get a taste of the sizzling cuisine, all tomato themed, to prepare you for the slinging match that begins the next day.

By 11 o’clock the next day the town is boarded up and trucks laden with around 90,000 lbs of tomatoes arrive, and battle then rages until there aren’t any left to throw.

Begins: 25 August 2010 11AM Free Entry
To get to the Plaza del Pueblo by road: Buñol is 35km (22 miles) west of Valencia off A3 motorway. There is and additional rail service from Valencia.

More information:
Oficina de Turismo Valencia-Paz
Calle de la Paz 48

Portsmouth to Bilbao with P&O Ferries
The Pride of Bilbao sails every three days at approximately 9.15 pm cruising for 2 nights.

Image Credit: Juanjo Valverde

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