When is La Tomatina 2019?
La Tomatina – the biggest food fight of the year is the highlight festival of Spain held annually in the month of August. This iconic festival paints the Spanish town of Bunol with an incredible 40 metric tons of tomatoes! This year, the fabled festival of La Tomatina is going to take place on 28th August and we are offering you a Tomatina special travel package that’ll let you experience this epic tomato fight in an unforgettable way!
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What is La Tomatina?
La Tomatina is the annual ‘tomato throwing festival’ that is celebrated each year on the last Wednesday of August in Spain. The venue for this famous tomato festival is the town of Bunol, located 38 kms from Valencia. All the tomatoes used during the festival come from Extremadura region of Spain.
La Tomatina 2019: Origin of festival
There are three legends surrounding La Tomatina and the best part about them is that no one really knows which one is true!
1. The most popular one that may be narrated to you by the local women eagerly selling their souvenir T-shirts is that a parade in 1945 honoring town’s patron saint, Luis Bertran, ended in absolute chaos when a local producer’s tomato cart was crushed, squishing thousands of ripe tomatoes in the streets.
2. If you park yourself near a local brewery and allow one of the old men to narrate animated anecdotes to you, you may get to hear of the legend about a notorious Spanish womanizer, Don Juan, who was pelted with tomatoes in response to his awful singing and equally horrendous guitar play.
3. Another popular legend that the lanky teenagers reveling on the streets may swear by is about how La Tomatina came around to be when a group of local rascals raiding a fruit stall in the town center, started hurling tomatoes at each other in sheer madness.
No matter which story you choose to believe, one thing is for sure – nothing comes close to those few breath-taking hours when about 50,000 people come out on the streets armed with 250,000 pounds of ripe and juicy tomatoes, all set for the war…. THE TOMATO WAR!
The iconic festival was shut down in 1950 and was later, renewed in the year 1957 after several protests and marches with symbolic burial of tomatoes. In 2002, La Tomatina of Bunol was declared Festivity of International Tourist Interest by Spain’s government and since 2013, entry tickets have been mandatory due to its excessive popularity.
La Tomatina: How the festival starts
Ready yourself in the morning for the frenzy, which starts when a ham is placed on top of a tall, greased pole in front of the local town hall. The tomato throwing ‘ritual’ can only begin once someone is able to climb the slippery pole and grab the ham. The sight is truly hilarious as hordes of people try to scale this pole, climbing over each other, to be the illustrious one to claim the piece of meat.
Once the ham is snatched, the trucks roll in with the masses of ripe & juicy tomatoes in the center of town.
The event begins as five bulbous (tomato-packed rockets) are fired out of a cannon into the air. The crowd explodes into a thunderous roar and this launches everyone into a flinging and slinging frenzy.
La Tomatina 2019: How to reach
The nearest airport to Bunol is 38 kilometers away in Valencia. Valencia Airport is connected to the city center by the local metro. You could also drive down to Bunol from other Spanish cities like Barcelona (approx. 4-hrs), Seville (approx. 6-hrs), Madrid (approx. 3-hrs) and Córdoba (approx. 4-hrs).
Alternatively, you could book this incredible La Tomatina holiday package which includes everything you can think of- from travel and accommodation to guided local tours and white t-shirts for you to enjoy the festival to the fullest! What more could you ask for? Spanish Tapas? That’s included in the package too!
La Tomatina: Fun Facts
- La Tomatina is the world’s biggest food fight with 40 tons of tomatoes involved in the one-hour festival.
- White t-shirts are a common sight, however, the locals prefer to go without t-shirts. Some people also wear swimming googles and snorkeling gear to keep the tomato puree out of their eyes and nose.
- Tomatoes are natural disinfectants and are for good for skin as they clear all impurities. Following the end of the festival, fire-fighters hose down the streets and people, leaving the town surprisingly clean.
- La Tomatina is not just about tomato fights. The week leading up to the festival features events filled with parades, fireworks and paella cooking contests.
- You can experience all of this fun first hand with just a few mouse clicks! Click here and find yourself visiting Spain in August!
La Tomatina: Tips!
There aren’t too many rules in this fun fest, just some ‘common sense’ applications.
- Participants should not wear designer clothes or delicate fabrics.
- If you’re absolutely determined to take pictures, carry a see-though waterproof bag!
- Participants must make way for trucks and lorries.
- You can throw tomatoes and tomatoes only and they must be squashed before you throw them, to avoid bruising.
- Although the locals tend to rip each other’s clothing, it is officially forbidden and as a visitor, you will be expected to behave.
- After the second shot indicative of ending the tomato hurl, no tomatoes should be thrown.
- And, finally, do not throw tomatoes at the non-tomato throwers, especially if they seem to be the locals. Chances are they are pro at the game and their experience may be the deadliest out there!
- Return Economy flights
- Accommodation at 4*Hotel Senator Parque Central, Valencia
- Entrance ticket to La Tomatina Festival
- Tour guide from Valencia to Buñol and back. This guide will help you in your Tomatina experience.
- Tapas & drinks at El Corte Inglés
All this and a lot more fun awaiting you here! Ready to paint the town red?!