Quick facts about La Tomatina Festival
- When: La Tomatina Festival happens annually during the last wednesday of August.
- Where: Takes place in Buñol, a little village near Valencia, Spain. Population around 10.000 people. Located 40 km from Valencia by bus, train or car.
- Why: In 1945 some young boys decided to get a place among the retinue of a parade during the town festivities. The energy of these teens made that one participant fell down. The participant got mad and started to hit everything in his way. Casually nearby there was a vegetable stall that fell victim of the furious crowd: people started to pelt each other with tomatoes.
- What: What’s your ammunition? 120 tons of red tomatoes.
- Who: Locals and people from all over the world. Maximum capacity: 22.000 participants. Just for adults at least 18 years old.
- How: Tomatina Festival begins at 11am with a bang. Trucks loaded of tomatoes proceed to drive through the fight area while some locals in the back of the trucks are throwing tomatoes at all of the festival goers. As soon as the truck passes, everyone dives on the ground scooping for tomatoes to get themselves armed for the battle…that’s when the fun begins! The following hour will be one of the most intense and hilarious experiences of your life.
You need a ticket to participate. See ticket options
Know a bit of history..
All started the last Wednesday of August in 1945 when some young people spent the time in the town square to attend the Giants and Big-Heads figures parade. The young boys decided to have a place among the retinue of a parade with musician, Giants and Big-Heads figures.
The energy of these young people made that one participant fell off. The participant flew into a fit of rage, started to hit everything in his path. There was a market stall of vegetable that fell victim of the furious crowd: people started to pelt each other with tomatoes until the local forces ended that vegetable battle.
The following year, the young people picked a quarrel by their own decision and brought the tomatoes from home. Although the police broke up the early tradition in the following years, the young boys had made history without being conscious about it. La Tomatina was banned in the early 50s, which was not a problem for the participants who were even arrested. But the people spoke and the festivity was again allowed with more participants and more frenetic feelings.
The festivity was again cancelled till 1957 when, as a sign of protest, the tomato burial was held. It was a demonstration in which the residents carried a coffin with a huge tomato inside. The parade was accompanied by a music band which played funeral marches and it was totally successful. La Tomatina Festival was finally allowed and became an official festivity.
As a result of the report of Javier Basilio, broadcasted in the Spanish Television Program called Informe Semanal, the festivity started to be known in the rest of Spain.
Since then, the number of participants increased year after year as well as the excitement about La Tomatina Festival. In 2002, La Tomatina of Buñol was declared Festivity of International Tourist Interest by the Secretary Deparment of Tourism due to its success.
Attention warriors! For a fair battle you must respect the following rules:
- La Tomatina begins at 11.00am with a starting signal and ends at 12.00 o’clock. Stop throwing tomatoes when you hear the shot of the second warning firework.
- Do not enter bottles or hard objects because you can cause an accident or damages to your battle’s fellows.
- Do not tear or throw your T-shirts nor others T-shirts.
- Squash the tomatoes before throwing them, the hit will be less painful.
- Keep a safe distance from the lorries.
- Follow the security staff directions.
You are going to have a great time at La Tomatina Festival, but if you want to make it memorable keep in mind our tips:
- Tomatina Dress code: wear clothes that you don’t mind to throw away after the epic fight. Some people wear white t-shirts, some others wear old clothes. Swimsuit under your clothes is not a bad idea because you’re gonna end up soaked by tomato rain and water hoses.
- Footwear: if you don’t want to lose your shoes during the fight, avoid flip flops and anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or insecure. But remember to wear something you won’t regret to ruin it.
- You can bring your own swimming goggles to avoid itchy eyes due to tomato acid. On the good side, tomato acid is good for your skin!
- If you want to make a funny video during the battle or take pictures get yourself a waterproof protective case for your device. Otherwise, it won’t survive.
- Follow the security directions and keep a safe distance from the lorries.
- Only bring things you will need. You will not need passports, laptops, etc.
- And last but not least, enjoy the party!