Tuesday, February 28

La Tomatina Festival 2012: The War of Tomatoes!

La Tomatina is a Spanish festival held in Buñol, Valenica on the last Wednesday in August. This year in 2012, the festival will be celebrated in 29th August. The strange festival where participants throw tomatoes at each other can involve over 40,000 people, more than 4 times the population of the small town.

Nicknamed the ‘Worlds Biggest Food Fight’, throwing tomatoes originally started in 1944 when a fight broke out next to a vegetable stand. The weapons used were tomatoes and when the police intervened the fight stopped. The two young men went back the next year to start the fight again, this time with their own stock of tomatoes. The festival has grown into one of the greatest Spanish Festivals and the World’s largest tomato fight!

In 1980, the City Council started to provide the participants with tomatoes. Now, trucks carrying 250,000 pounds of overripe tomatoes arrive early in the morning on festival day.

The fight lasts an hour, after which Fire trucks hose down the streets with help from locals. Due to the acid in the tomatoes, the streets are cleaner than when the fight started.

Where to Stay

If you wish to join in with this one of a kind festival, it would be recommended to stay in the nearby city of Valencia. Only a short trip to join in with the La Tomatina festival 2012, you also have the joys of visiting a beautiful historic European City with plenty of other activities to join in with.

If you are on a budget, then you may consider the Purple Nest Backpackers Hostel which offers all the amenities a hostel should. From free towels and air conditioning to a fully equip
ped bar with live acts. From only €28 a night, a 6 night stay would set you back just €172 for two people in a shared dorm room.

If you are looking for a hotel rather than a budget hostel, the Melia Plaza located in the centre of Valencia may be an option. For a 6 night hotel stay, the cost would be about €572 based on the last week in August. There is a gym and sauna along with air conditioning and luxury rooms.

What else can I do?

The two places of accommodation listed above are 12 minutes walk away (based on Google maps) from each other so local attractions will be the same.

The Oceanografic is an open-air park which houses more than 45,000 examples of 500 different marine species from sharks to penguins. The park is a great leisure, training and research centre and is open to the public most days. It is part of The City of Arts and Sciences which also includes the Prince Felipe Museum of Science where you can touch and interact with science and technology.

The entrance to The City of Arts and Sciences is an attraction in itself. L’Umbracle is shaped by a succession of 55 fixed arches and 54 floating arches of 18 metres high. There are many different types of trees and plants that change shape and colour with every season.

Things to note

If taking part in the La Tomatina festival there is one main rule you must abide by, you must squash the tomatoes before throwing them at your ‘enemies’ so as to reduce injury. It is also advisable to wear goggles and gloves to protect yourself.

When you travel to any foreign country you should always keep your money and belongings safe and secure. Consider specialist travel insurance for backpackers that will cover your baggage and personal possessions.

Courtesy: Images via gettyimages