BIZARRE EUROPE: SPAIN (1)LA TOMATINA. During our meeting at Stavanger, we were discussing (with James and Andy) new possibilities for our project. We had been talking about "La Tomatina" from Buñol (Valencia) and started to think about strange traditions, celebrations and festivals in our countries. Here we start a new part in Identity: Bizarre Europe.
"La Tomatina" is a festival celebrated in Buñol (Valencia, East Spain). It basically consists of people throwing tons of tomatoes at each other for one hour. It is celebrated on the last Wednesday of August, as a part of the town's festival.
I thought its origin must have some transcendental explanation. I was obviously wrong. As the official website of the region of Valencia explains its origins go back to 1945, when a group of young people who wanted to take part in a parade organised a riot. They used what they had at hand: fruit and vegetables from stalls in the market nearby. They repeated the incident the following year (this time with tomatoes brought from home) being pushed again by the police, and... the following years as well. It became an unofficial festival, and now... it is internationally known!