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Why Everybody Should Go To La Tomatina Festival At Least Once

Why Everybody Should Go To La Tomatina Festival At Least Once

Looking for a reason to include La Tomatina Festival on your European adventure? We’ve got tons for you! Check out our guide for all the best tips to enjoy this crazy festival.

If you’ve ever dreamt of being in the middle of a literal tomato fight, then it’s time to make it a reality! La Tomatina Festival is an annual event held near Valencia, in charming Buñol. And it’s something everyone should go to at least once! Home to lots of festivals throughout the year, La Tomatina attracts over 40,000 participants, and makes for one of the most memorable events you can imagine.

So, are you ready to make your food fight dreams a reality? Then read on and see why we think everybody should go to La Tomatina at least once!

Why Everyone Should Go To La Tomatina At Least Once

Why Everyone Should Go To La Tomatina At Least Once

So, How Did This Festival Get Started? 

This unique and absurd festival began on the last Wednesday of August in 1945. During the Gigantes y Cabezudos street parade, some young men started a food fight with each other with some vegetables they took from a nearby market stand. The fight eventually ended when police broke the scene up. But a year later, the same people returned with their own tomatoes and started another food fight. And again, police arrived to break it up but were rather unsuccessful. Over the years, La Tomatina became a much anticipated tradition and was granted special status by the Department of Tourism in 2002. Google even marks it with a Google Doodle!

But Buñol isn’t the only destination where the festival takes place. While the original happens outside one of the best beach destinations in Spain, other places in the world have followed suit. You can actually find replica La Tomatina Festivals in places like China, the USA, India, and Colombia. Talk about making an impression!

La Tomatina Festival

Like we’ve already mentioned, La Tomatina Festival takes place in Buñol, just 40 km outside Valencia. And following tradition, the event occurs on the last Wednesday of August. It’s a rather cool way to celebrate the end of summer!

Due to its popularity, attending the festival now requires a ticket. For only 10€ for one of the biggest food fights you can imagine, we think it’s a deal! Click here to get yours.

At 10:00am on the day of the festival, a jamon (Spanish ham) is hung at the top of a slippery pole in the town square. The goal is to climb the pole to grab the jamon. And what do you win? Well, aside from the delicious Spanish ham, you win bragging rights. And you also get the admiration of locals and tourists alike!

La Tomatina Festival officially kicks off at 11:00am with a bang. Literally. The festival starts with a loud firework, and the hour long food fight ensues. The ridiculous event sees over 150, 000 tomatoes splatter and everyone (the town included) is quite literally painted red!

And if you think it’s a shame to see that many tomatoes go to waste, we have good news for you. Since Spain is rather famous for their delicious and juicy tomatoes, you can imagine the standard expected for consumption. So rest assured the ones used for La Tomatina are all low quality.

Why Everyone Should Go To La Tomatina At Least Once

Why Everyone Should Go To La Tomatina At Least Once

Insider Tips to Enjoy La Tomatina

Now that you know a bit about its history and what to expect at La Tomatina, it’s time to talk about how to prepare! In order to have the best experience at this crazy and unique festival, please have a read through these rules and tips. In fact, they’re the same rules set out by the Buñol Town Council and festival organisers, so we recommend taking them seriously!

  • Do not throw bottles or hard objects
  • Squash tomatoes before throwing (the impact is less painful)
  • Keep a safe distance from the lorries
  • Do not tear or rip others’ shirts
  • Stop throwing when you hear the second shot signalling the end
  • Follow security and staff directions
  • Entrance is forbidden if you carry a backpack, bag, camera, or any other object that could cause harm
Tips to Survive and Have the Best Experience
  • Show up early as it will be very crowded
  • Bring swimming goggles as tomatoes are acidic and painful in the eyes
  • Wear clothes and shoes you’re not attached to because you’ll never get the stains out (we recommend wearing white so you can see the total carnage of the festival)
  • Wear good shoes, and do not wear flip flops or sandals
  • Protect your phone with a plastic bag or equivalent phone protector. The tomato juice and water can ruin your phone otherwise! 
  • Stay hydrated as it’s always hot in August
  • And finally: have loads of fun!

So Much More Than Just a Tomato Fight

While you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s just about the food fight, La Tomatina is so much more than that. It’s an opportunity to meet people from all over the world, and a chance to get to know Spanish culture a little bit more. It also happens during the “Fiesta de Pueblo” and since La Tomatina Festival is a single day event, there’s tons more to see and do throughout the week. The Fiesta de Pueblo in Buñol is celebrated with parades, paella, and fireworks.  

Why Everyone Should Go To La Tomatina At Least Once

Why Everyone Should Go To La Tomatina At Least Once

Where to Stay in Valencia

Even though La Tomatina takes places in Buñol, you’ll likely want to stay in beautiful Valencia. Our top recommendation for accommodation is Purple Nest Hostel. You’ll love their modern and clean rooms, and they’re well located so you’ll have Valencia’s best attractions, food, and neighbourhoods on your doorstep!

Why Everybody Should Go To La Tomatina Festival At Least Once

La Tomatina Festival is one of Spain’s most treasured and silly traditions, and we hope our guide has convinced you to attend! Travel is all about embarking on new and foreign experiences, and we think this one takes the cake in terms of being unique! If you need more information to help you plan your vacation, click here for a range of helpful tips, city guides, food guides, and more. For all the latest news at Famous Hostels, follow us or subscribe on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and Youtube.

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