La Tomatina

What is it?

La Tomatina is a festival held on a Wednesday towards the end of August in the town of Buñol in the Valencia region in Spain. Thousands of participants come from around the world to fight in a harmless battle where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets. The week-long festival features music, parades, dancing, and fireworks. On the night before the tomato fight, participants of the festival compete in a paella cooking contest. It is said that approximately 30,000 people come to the tomato fight, multiplying by several times Buñol’s normal population of 9,000. There are not many accommodations for people who come to La Tomatina , and thus, many participants stay in Valencia and travel by bus or train to Buñol, about 38 km outside the city. In preparation for the dirty mess that will ensue, shopkeepers cover their storefronts in order to protect them from the carnage.