La Tomatina - World's Biggest Food Fight!
Always fantasized about getting into a food fight? They you need to head to Bunol, Spain to participate in the world's biggest annual food fight - La Tomatina, a festival where you can pelt total strangers with tomatoes and face no repercussions!
The festival, which took place yesterday and is held on the last Wednesday of August every year, began as a food fight among the town's local youngsters. It is now Spain's most popular and anticipated festivals that lasts an entire week, culminating in this popular tomato fight.
On the Tuesday before La Tomatina, the streets are lined with large pans of tomato Paella - Spain's traditional rice dish, simmering on wood-burning fires. Tourists and locals alike, gather and enjoy the good food and drinks until the wee hours of the morning.
On the day of the big fight, businessmen in the area scramble to cover their storefronts with tarps before the festival begins. Officials start by placing a ham atop a greasy pole. Once someone manages to climb up and get a hold of it, they sound a siren and start to toss bags of tomatoes from trucks to the eagerly awaiting crowds and the mayhem begins.
The only rules are that the tomatoes have to be mushed before they can be thrown and that the 'fight' should remain a friendly event - which means no tearing at other people's clothes or bringing things like bottles, which could result in a real fight.
This year, the festival attracted over 40,000 people, some from as far as Japan and Australia, who pelted each other enthusiastically. A couple of hours and 100 tons of tomatoes later, it was all over!
The tired but exhilarated crowd still dripping and slipping over the red juices that covered the streets of Bunol, headed over to the river or makeshift hose showers to rinse off and then, to a nice lunch and well-deserved siesta . . . all promising to be back for next year's La Tomatina!