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La Tomatina de Buñol: The Tomato Fight Festival That Will Surprise You

Published Bernice on Wednesday, August 23, 2023 2:55 PM

La Tomatina de Buñol: The Tomato Fight Festival That Will Surprise You

Spain is known worldwide for its vibrant festivities and unique traditions. One of the most iconic summer celebrations is the famous Buñol Tomato Fight. If you're planning to come to Valencia at the end of August for a vacation or to learn Spanish, participating in this fun festival is a unique experience you can't miss.

Summer is a perfect time to travel and combine the opportunity to discover new cultures while studying Spanish, isn't it a wonderful plan? At Hispania, escuela de español, we will  tell you everything you need to know about this event, and you can also study in our wonderful in-person Spanish courses.

The Tomato Fight Festival is an annual event held in the small town of Buñol, very close to the city of Valencia. You can get there in just 40 minutes! From its humble beginnings in the 1940s, this celebration has evolved into one of the most popular and extravagant festivals in all of Spain. Every year, thousands of people from all over the world gather in the narrow streets of Buñol to take part in an unprecedented tomato battle. During the Tomato Fight, participants throw tomatoes at each other, creating a sea of tomato juice and fun.

The History of the Tomato Fight

The Buñol Tomato Fight has a very curious origin. It all began in the summer of 1945. It was the last Wednesday of August, and young residents of Buñol were enjoying the traditional parade of giants and big-headed figures in the town square. At one point, they wanted to join one of the parades and accidentally caused one of the participants to fall. This person became so enraged that they started hitting people left and right.

Gradually, others also got angry and started throwing tomatoes from a vegetable stand in the square. This incident escalated into a full-blown tomato battle, with law enforcement trying to separate the people and put an end to the tomato fight. Happy with the outcome of the event, the following year the young people intentionally brought tomatoes and initiated another red war, leading to its prohibition in the early 1950s. The people of Buñol rebelled against this ban and continued to celebrate the festival year after year.

As a new form of protest, in 1957, the residents of Buñol obtained a coffin in which they placed a large tomato. They held a funeral procession for the tomato accompanied by funeral marches. All these events and the people's attempts to preserve their tradition gained attention throughout the country, garnering support. Ultimately, there was no choice but to legalize what became known as the Tomato Fight Festival.

The Tomato Fight and its International Impact

The Tomato Fight has become a famous international festival, and it's not surprising. The idea of a massive tomato battle in the streets of a Spanish town is highly appealing, making it a unique experience that many want to witness and participate in. Furthermore, the Tomato Fight has gained popularity over the years due to media coverage and dissemination through the internet and social media. Photos and videos of the Tomato Fight, showing people throwing tomatoes at each other, have gone viral, generating curiosity everywhere.

For these reasons, the Buñol Tomato Fight was declared an International Tourist Interest Festival in 2002.

If you want to learn how to prepare for the Tomato Fight or hear some entertaining stories from our teachers and students, check out our Instagram @Hispania.valencia.


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