La Tomatina Festival In Spain: The Battle of Tomatoes

 In General, Travel

In India, we celebrate the festival of colours that is Holi, and every Indian loves to play with colours on Holi, but did you know? That there is a country where people play with tomatoes! Yes, tomatoes, and you must have watched one of our favourite Bollywood movies, “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara,” where all those friends were battling with tomatoes and enjoying the moment. This is the La Tomatina Festival in Spain, where people throw squashed tomatoes and call it a festival. Let’s understand what this La Tomatina Spain is all about.

What is La Tomatina Festival? 


La Tomatina festival in Spain is a celebration where people in Buñol, a town in Spain, gather together and start throwing squashed tomatoes at each other, calling it a celebration. This celebration lasts 1 hour or may last till afternoon or evening followed by parties, music, and dancing. 

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History of La Tomatina Festival Spain


If we look out for the history of the La Tomatina Festival in Spain remains unclear because some people believe that it started in the mid-20th century. Some say the La Tomatina Festival started with some friends in a spontaneous food fight. Also, locals believe throwing hard tomatoes was a part of the dispute.

Earlier records convey that the La Tomatina Festival in Spain started in the 1940s or 1950s, in Buñol’s traditional celebrations to honour their patron saint, San Luis Beltrán. There are some stories about La Tomatina Spain where a group of friends started throwing tomatoes in a parade, creating chaos that caught everyone’s eye. Today, the La Tomatina Festival has begun one of the biggest annual celebrations in Spain. The tradition of this festival was officially recognized in 1980.

La Tomatina Festival Spain: Entertainment With A Purpose 


Here is an exciting thing about the La Tomatina Festival in Spain. You must be thinking that the tomatoes used in this festival are of excellent quality and may create a lot of waste. But here comes entertainment with a purpose; the tomatoes kept for the La Tomatina festival are deemed unfit for consumption, and these would have been thrown away anyway. People buy low-quality, overripe tomatoes at a low price in Spain and reduce waste.  

Why Is The La Tomatina Festival In Spain A Giant Food Fight?


La Tomatina Spain is a big food fight because more than 30000 pounds of tomatoes, especially for this festival, are used to battle with, and thanks to the tourists and people around the world, including people from Buñol, participate in this festival. According to the reports, before 2013 about 40,000 to 50,000 people participated in La Tomatina Festival. 

How Does The La Tomatina Festival Start? 


Let’s look out for the La Tomatina Festival in Spain. Throwing tomatoes is not the only tradition. On the last Wednesday of August, before the fight begins, the participants of La Tomatina Spain compete to capture the ham. This event is known as “Palo Jabón,” where the ham is attached to a long, greasy pole, and participants must climb the pole to drop the ham. And these people start climbing on each other to make this process last longer. 

Once the ham is dropped from the two-story high pole, there is a water cannon signal into the air as a start. Around noon, many trucks with tomatoes drop tomatoes in the centre, and people start battling with tomatoes. The battle lasts for one hour till the fight ends. The end signal of the La Tomatina Festival is also given by the water canon. After that, no tomatoes are allowed to be thrown.

After the festival, the whole street is painted with ripe tomato juices and removed by the volunteer fire trucks or disaster management. Even the participants cleaned the area where they celebrated, and interestingly, the acidity of the tomato juices made the cobblestone street of the village clean after washing. 

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Do’s and Don’ts Of La Tomatina Festival In Spain:


let’s say you are attending this festival as a tourist. So here are some Do’s and Don’ts that you must know: 


  • Wear old and used clothes for festivals because you will battle tomato juice in La Tomatina, Spain. 
  • Find good quality goggles to protect your eyes and keep a cloth to wipe in between or you can tuck your old t-shirt in your jeans/trousers/shorts so that the bottom of the fabric remains clean to wipe your goggles. 
  • Wear shoes with a good grip. If you plan to wear chappals or flip-flops, they will get easily damaged. 
  • If you want to capture the moments of La Tomatina Spain, keep a waterproof and shockproof camera. 
  • Squash the tomatoes before throwing them.
  • Follow the water cannon signal, and as soon as you get the second one, stop throwing tomatoes.
  • If you are not from Buñol or Spain, look for secure accommodations.
  • Maintain a proper distance. 
  • Visit as early as possible. 


  • Do not keep hard or glass bottles nearby during the La Tomatina Spain; it may cause severe accidents or hurt people. 
  • There is no need to rip other people’s clothes. 
  • Do not use complicated and raw tomatoes; otherwise, it may hurt the participants. 
  • Check out the grease pole with ham at the top ritual. 
  • Do not harm others. Try to keep yourself as well as others safe. 

If you are bringing your child to La Tomatina Spain, do not take your eyes off them.

Tomatina for Kids: 

Source: Khaleej Times

La Tomatina Spain is not just for adults; kids can now participate in this celebration. Hence, it is called Tomatina Kids. The rules of Tomatina Kids are the same as the La Tomatina festival.

La Tomatina 2024 Date


The La Tomatina 2024 date is decided on the 28th of August for adults, and for Tomatina Kids is on the 24th of August. 


These were some interesting facts, journeys, and the history of the juicy festival, the La Tomatina, celebrated in Buñol, Spain, which is one of the biggest and also one of the most unusual festivals in the world. It’s a celebration with fun. Whether you are from Spain or a tourist, you must consider yourself for the battle of tomatoes at least once in your life. So what are you waiting for? Grab your tickets for Spain, roam around and look for safe accommodation, and last but not least, add the La Tomatina Festival to your bucket list. 

Till then iViva La Tomatina! (Long Live La Tomatina!)

Frequently Asked Questions About La Tomatina Festival

What Is La Tomatina Festival?

The La Tomatina festival is celebrated by people throwing ripe, deemed, and squashed tomatoes, that are unfit for consumption, to each other. There are about 20,000 participants in the festival. 

Where is the La Tomatina Festival Celebrated?

The La Tomatina Festival is celebrated in Buñol, a town in Spain. 

When is The La Tomatina Festival in 2024?

The La Tomatina Festival is celebrated on the last Wednesday of August every year. Hence, this festival will be celebrated on 28th August 2024.   

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