Sat, Sep 09, 2017 - Page 14 News List

La Tomatina

Revelers throw tomatoes at each other during the annual “Tomatina” in the village of Bunol, Valencia, Spain, on Aug. 30. Trucks dumped 160 tonnes of tomatoes for some 20,000 participants.

Photo: AP

Nobody can really say for certain when La Tomatina, the epic food fight fought entirely with tomatoes in the Spanish town of Bunol on the last Wednesday of August every year, actually started.

There is one theory, however: that it all began in 1945, during a parade in the village of people dressed as giants with massive heads. The story goes that one of the giants was accidentally knocked over by teenagers trying to join the parade and, enraged, picked a fight with them. The fight ended when the police intervened, but not after the kids started a precedent by pelting their giant assailant with tomatoes from a nearby market stall.

With the exception of a few years during which the event was banned, La Tomatina has been held annually in the village, attracting huge numbers of revelers from all over the world. Over time the event has become a victim of its own success, and numbers of people flocking to the village to take part have mushroomed to tens of thousands.

Since 2013, visitors have needed a ticket to participate, with numbers restricted to 20,000. The fight itself begins at 11am and finishes 2 hours later. Tonnes of overripe tomatoes are trucked in, and local storekeepers put up plastic sheeting to protect their properties. When the festivities are over, the buildings are hosed down.(Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)






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