Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
Look out Pamplona, there’s renewed buzz around another annual rite for the adventurous thrill-seekers out there. Ok, not quite. It’s La Tomatina, an annual tradition in Bunol, Spain that basically amounts to the world’s biggest annual food fight. Each year, 30,000 people head to this town in the Valencia region to hurl a hundred tons of over-ripe tomatoes at each other.
The festival is in honor of the town’s patron saints, Luis Bertràn and the Mare de Déu dels Desemparats (Mother of God of the Defenseless), a title of the Virgin Mary.
According to the roughly translated English version of the week-long festival’s official website, the rules are as follows:
“If you come to the tomatina, respects the norms.
The tomatina begins 11h, is a rocket that announces the beginning of the battle, happened one hour, is another rocket that it indicates that the battle has finished.
The tomato, that is to be mature, must be squashed with the hand before sending it.
You cannot throw bottles and other hard things. In addition, it is recommended that does not open its mouth less than you like to eat tomatos.
These small rules of civismo and coexistence are necessary so that the celebration is developed like every year, that is to say, without ningun kind of problems.”
BootsnAll Blogger KDuffy also has this first hand account of the 2005 fight.