La Tomatina Festival is a tomato fight festival held every year on the last Wednesday of August in the small town of Buñol, in the province of Valencia, Spain.
The origin of La Tomatina Festival can be traced back to the year 1945, when a group of young boys staged a brawl in town’s main square and used tomatoes from a nearby vegetable stall as weapons. Though police intervened and controlled the brawl, the next year on the same day again a similar brawl was staged and this time they brought their own tomatoes from home. The police again intervened and stopped the same but the event started gaining popularity. After few years of ban, the festival took its official form in the year 1957, after considering its popularity and demand, but with some rules and regulations in place. From 1975 onwards, San Luis Bertrán, the patron of the town of Buñol, started organizing the whole event including providing the tomatoes. From 1980 onwards, the town hall took the responsibility of organizing the event.
The event starts at 10 AM, where people try to climb a greasy pole with a ham on the top of the pole. Once the ham is dropped off the pole by someone the start signal for tomato fight is given. The tomato fight ends exactly after an hour with the signal to end the fight. Trucks filled with tomatoes enter the streets once the start signal is given and tomatoes are thrown at people.
The La Tomatina festival has small set of rules. The rules are that