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La Tomatina. It's an amazing festival. And
thanks to the movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, every Indian knows
about it now. Well, it's the same reason why so many Indians travel
La Tomatina. It's an amazing festival. And thanks to the movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, every Indian knows about it now. Well, it's the same reason why so many Indians travel to Spain these days, just to take part in this festival.
The last Wednesday of August marks this popular annual festival, in which participants throw tonnes of over-ripe tomatoes at each other.
Yes, the festival is messy, and crazy. But that's where the fun lies. Here are a few facts about the festival you probably didn't know.
1. La Tomatina is the world's largest food fight
True that is! La Tomatina happens to be the largest state-sanctioned food fight in the world. And guess what, as many as 40,000 enthusiasts travel to the town of Bunol every year just for pelting tomatoes at each other.
2. The tomato fight started as a street brawl
The festival started in the year 1945 when a street fight broke out in Bunol between the participants which then lead to the celebration of festival, La Tomatina. A man started pelting vegetables at everyone from a nearby stall, and was retaliated by a furious group of people who also did the same. This was repeated by the same group of people in the following year, but the police soon but an end to this tradition by banning food fights in the 1950's. But it was brought back on popular demand by the residents.
3. The festival involves other festivals too
La Tomatina is just not about the tomato fights. It involves massive parades, fireworks, and even massive food contests taking place in the Spanish town.
4. The amount of tomatoes used
Although the battle of tomatoes lasts only for an hour, as many as 1,50,000 tomatoes are used up in that span of time. The weight totals to a whopping 40 metric tonnes! But mind you, the tomatoes are of low-quality, over-ride, and inferior in taste.
5. A slice of ham marks the beginning of the fight
It all starts with a slice of ham being hung on the top of a greasy pole in front of the crowd at 10 am in the morning. Someone is supposed to climb and retrieve this slice of ham, while the crowd chants and sings in encouragement. The trucks loaded with tomatoes arrive at the venue, and then begins the fun-filled chaos.
As kickass as La Tomatina continues to be year after year, Spain is notorious for hosting one of the most interesting festivals in the world.