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Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Tomatina Festival in Spain: An Outlandish Event

One of the most festive yet outlandish events I have seen is the Tomatina Festival in Spain. Yearly, I see it on news and it seems that the people never get tired of celebrating the slimy event.

At first, I’ve been thinking that they are wasting tons of tomatoes, which could have been used for food. Then I have learned that they use tomatoes of less quality and do not taste good. In fact, those were grown just for the occasion.

Greased Pole c/o wikipedia
The Tomatina festival starts with putting up a greased pole with a ham on top. Individuals will try to reach the ham and drop it down. The people sing and dance as this happen while water running from hoses showers them all. When someone gets to the ham and drops it down, there will be a loud shot that would signal the start of throwing tomatoes at each other. It would last for about an hour.

When the frenzy stops, the entire street floods with tomato paste. Fire trucks would then start cleaning up the mess with water from hoses flushing the tomatoes off the streets. Interestingly, the acid from the tomatoes help clean up the streets because of its disinfecting property.

The funny thing is how the Tomatina festival has started. In 1944, a group, of young men who wanted to join a parade of gigantes y cabezudos, a Spanish festival, started a fight. Since there was a vegetable store nearby, they used tomatoes as weapons. They were arrested and were forced by the police to pay damages. The following year, the same young men went back to the festival and started a fight again only this time they brought heir own tomatoes. The police drove them away but the same event happened every year and in following years, Tomatina became a street party event.

Images: Wikipedia


  1. it sounds fun!!! congrats for being my top commenter. thanks so much!

  2. Hi Carina,
    Yes, looks like real fun! It's much like our San Juan feast. Pero minsan sobra na yung katuwaan dito pag San Juan eh. Thanks too for visiting again... :D


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