Tuesday, September 15, 2015

La Tomatina :The Tomato Festival

Where is La Tomatina held?
La Tomatina tomato fight festival, Buñol, Spain. La Tomatina is a food fight festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year in the town of Buñol in the Valencia region of Spain. Tens of metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets in exactly one hour.


When is La Tomatina Celebrated in Spain? La Tomatina is celebrated on the last Wednesday in August in the small town of Bunol in eastern Spain. This year the festival takes place on August 27th, 2014. The festival began way back in 1944 but there is no known religious or political basis for it.



What is the History of La Tomatina Festival?
La Tomatina started on the last Wednesday of August in 1945 (29th August 1945) when some young people went to the town square to attend the Giants and Big-Head figures parade. They decided to join the parade with a musician. The group's excitement caused a person to fall from the float. The participant flew into a fit of rage and started to hit everything in his path. There was a market stall of vegetables that fell victim to what soon became a furious crowd. People started to pelt each other with tomatoes until local law enforcement ended the battle.

The following year the young people deliberately repeated the fight on the last Wednesday of August, only this time they brought their own tomatoes from home. They were again dispersed by the police. The food fight became an annual event. In 1950, the town allowed the tomato hurl to take place, but the next year it was stopped again. Many young people were imprisoned but Buñol residents forced authorities to let them go. The festival gained popularity with more and more participants every year. In subsequent years it was banned again with threats of serious penalties. In the year 1957, some young people celebrated "the tomato's funeral", with singers, musicians, and comedies. The main attraction however, was a big tomato in a coffin carried around while a band played funeral marches. In 1957, demand for the popular festival led to its becoming official, with certain rules and restrictions. These rules have gone through many modifications over the years.



Another important landmark in the history of this festival is the year 1975. From this year on wards, "Los Clavarios de San Luis Bertrán" (San Luis Bertrán is the patron of the town of Buñol) organized the whole festival and brought in the tomatoes, which had previously been brought by the local people. Soon after this, in 1980, the town council took over responsibility for organizing the festival.

Since then, the number of participants has increased year after year as well as the excitement about La Tomatina Festival. In 2002, in the month of August La Tomatina of Buñol was declared a Festivity of International Tourist Interest by the Secretary Department of Tourism due to its success. In 2013, town officials introduced an entry fee and limited the number of participants, citing concerns over safety.

The city council follows a short list of instructions for the safety of the participants and the festival:
  1. The tomatoes have to be squashed before throwing to avoid injuries.
  2. No other projectiles except tomatoes are allowed.
  3. Participants have to make way for trucks and lorries.
  4. After the second shot indicative of ending the tomato hurl, no tomatoes should be thrown.

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