26 Aug, 2023 @ 09:15
1 min read

The world’s biggest and craziest tomato fight will turn streets red next week in Spain’s Valencia

The world's biggest and craziest tomato fight will turn streets red next week in Spain's Valencia
Cordon Press image

THE VALENCIAN town of Buñol is getting ready to see ‘red’ once again as the world-famous La Tomatina festival returns next Wednesday with tomatoes being hurled in all directions.

The event always takes place on the last Wednesday of August with a noon start.

It’ll be the 77th staging of the annual showdown that attracts visitors from all over the world as well as Spain.

What has become one of the world’s most colourful events started as an accident in 1945 and has taken place every year except for 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic.

La Tomatina was prompted by young people years ago trying to get a better view of some of the attractions during a Buñol parade.

As they pushed their way through the by-standers, an unexpected consequence was that one of the parade participants was pushed over and lost his temper.

The jolly crowd did not take things seriously and responded by grabbing tomatoes from a stall and hurling them at him- resulting in the first La Tomatina.

All of the pear tomatoes used in La Tomatina are grown further north at Benicarlo, Ciudad Real, and Hellin because they are cheaper than those that are locally grown products.

They are sent to a Castellon province warehouse on Saturday and then on Tuesday, the tomatoes are loaded up on seven lorries to make the 70 kilometre journey to Buñol.

Up to 50,000 people used to take part in La Tomatina but safety issues have meant numbers have been cut to a maximum 20,000 who have official tickets.

The fight last for an hour before fire trucks arrive to clean down the streets, while revellers return to their accommodation for a shower or go for a dip in the Buñol river.

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Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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