The Tomato Festival is a tradition in Spain since 1945 and there are several theories about how it began, but no one knows for sure. One of the most popular theories is that during a town celebration the city councilman were attacked by some discontented people. The people enjoyed this so much, that they repeated the event the next year, and in a couple of years a tradition was established.
In the beginning of the '50s, the festival was forbidden by the City Council of Buñol, but this didn't stop people from keeping the tradition alive. In the end, after the people insisted and insisted, the authorities agreed to keep the festival. One of the problems was that many people were coming just to watch the show, not to participate, but hitting them could not be avoided. Important people of the city were "touched" by the tomatoes and the festival was again forbidden.
In 1955, the people of Buñol had the original idea of celebrating "the tomato funeral", as a sign of protest. They carried around the city a coffin with a big tomato inside and an orchestra played funeral marches. This apparently had some influence, because in 1957, the City Hall did not only grant permission for the festival to be held each year, but it helps to promote and organise La Tomatina.
More than 20,000 tourists come every year to enjoy and take part at the tomato fight. Even though it may seem all fun & joy, there are some strict rules one must respect: the tomatoes must be squashed before throwing them, you are not allowed to throw any other objects, not even your t-shirt and when you hear the signal you must stop throwing tomatoes.
Buñol, Valencia, Spain
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