News: It is that time of the year again for the tomato grower La Tomatina in Buñol

News: It is that time of the year again for the tomato grower La Tomatina in Buñol
28 Aug 2018

On Wednesday 29 August, the time of the year that thousands of participants looked forward to is the Tomatina party in the normally quiet village of Buñol.

This Valencian village is put on the international map because during the festivities more than 160,000 kilos of tomatoes will color the streets, buildings and people in red. That la Tomatina is no longer just a feast of the people from the village has been known for some time and the participants, who have had to buy tickets just like the last three years, come from near and far, where the number of Asians is always very large.

Buñol, the quiet village in the interior of the Valencia region, will be transformed into "Tomato Village" at 11 am on 29 August. Between 15,000 and 19,000 square meters will be made available for campers who can set up their tents here free of charge to spend the nights. Buñol has only 10,000 inhabitants, a number that rises to more than 50,000 during the parties. Entrepreneurs are convinced that the flow of participants will also boost the economy this year.


Just like other years, thousands of tourists will come to Buñol to throw tomatoes. Especially the tourists from Japan, China, United States, Great Britain and Australia know their way to the small town in the state of Valencia. With busloads at the same time one comes to Buñol to go all day and go completely throwing tomatoes.

This year, participants will also have to pay a small contribution so that the high cleaning costs can be paid. This was successfully introduced three years ago. The vast majority of participants, however, are still Spanish and that is a good thing.

Technically speaking, the tomatoes must be crushed before they are thrown because a hard tomato can hurt a person's body. The tomatoes themselves do not come from the Valencian region but from the Extremadura region because the tomatoes are cheaper there and exactly this variety is not good for the sale because of the lack of flavor. According to the organization no food is wasted as many always think.


La Tomatina is a celebration that is celebrated in the village of Buñol in the Spanish province of Valencia. It is an annual tomato fight on the last Wednesday of August. This event always attracts many tourists. Together with the San Fermín festivals and the corresponding bull runs in Pamplona, it is one of the most famous Spanish festivals in Spain.

In 1944, some young people sought quarrels because they wanted to take part in a typical local procession of gigantes y cabezudos (giants and big heads). Because they were in the vicinity of a vegetable stand, they stole tomatoes to throw them at the procession. The riot police came and had the young people compensate the damage. The following year the young people repeated this trick, with tomatoes brought home from this house. Even then, they were arrested again by the security forces. After having sustained this for several years in a row, this became a tradition without an official status being recorded.

In 1950 the city council of Buñol still allowed the party, but the year after that no more and a number of participants were arrested. Due to a lot of pressure from the neighboring municipalities, these were released anyway. Eventually the entire party was allowed and besides throwing tomatoes, other uses became commonplace. For example, water was thrown over and water jets were directed at the opponent. In 1957 the party was banned again and a prison sentence was imposed on the offense. That year, local residents decided to carry a shroud with a large tomato through the village, "to bury him". This procession was supported by bands that played funeral music.

Tomatina was finally granted in 1959 and since 1980 the municipality has been distributing tomatoes to the ever-increasing number of visitors. In 2013 it was the first time that participants have to pay for participation as the costs are getting higher, more foreigners come to Buñol to participate in the festivities and there is only room for a limited number of participants in the narrow streets.