Splat! Town turns red as tomato fight breaks out
31 August 2006
BUNOL — Photographs of revelllers splattered in tomatoes adorned newspapers in Spain and abroad on Thursday after the town of Bunol’s traditional ‘Tomatina’.
The Tomatina (Get Juicy) is friendly fight in which the only weapons employed are more than 110 tons of overripe tomatoes.
As it has being going for the past 61 years in this small town near Valencia
Tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world arrived to take part.
In addition to local residents, visitors come from the Americas, Asia and the rest of Europe.
In just an hour of furious activity, every last participant – and even those who dare peek out of their windows to get a look at the spectacle are covered in red, juicy mush from the ripe tomatoes, which are carried into the town for the fest in five large dump trucks.
The cooperative responsible with supplying the tomatoes to Buñol for the “Tomatina” also has to make sure only soft, overripe tomatoes are provided to the revellers.
But there are always some unripe green ones that get mixed in and strike some unfortunate people with unexpected force.
According to the town councillor for Parties, Fairs, Culture and Sports, Pilar Garrigues, “the people are given various recommendations before starting the fight, one of which encourages them to use common sense so as to not cause harm to others.”
“Here one comes dressed in white and should leave (dressed) in red if they had a good time; that’s what the Tomatina is all about,” Garrigues said.
Although there is some disagreement over the origin of the party, according to the most accepted version, a group of friends began the tradition by starting a tomato fight in the town’s main square as a parade of papier mache “giants” passed by.
Just as impressive as the massive quantity of tomatoes thrown during the party, however, is how quickly the streets of Bunol are cleaned of any trace of the food fight shortly afterward and the town returns to normal until the fest takes place again the following year.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news