The world's most famous food fight, La Tomatina, took place in Buñol near Valencia with 145 000 kg of tomatoes used in the event.
Occurring on the last Wednesday of August and now, incredibly, in its 70th year, its origin is not all too clear with a number of theories intertwining with myth. It is largely believed to be down to a group of boys who attended the Gigantes y Cabezudos (Giants and Big Headed Figures) Parade and tried to join the procession. Their enthusiasm reportedly resulted in one of the giants being knocked over with the operator, once they'd got to their feet, started to swing for the boys. Whether the giant knocked over a fruit stall or whether the boys grabbed the nearest soft fruit at hand, they retaliated by throwing tomatoes back.
The throwing of tomatoes was repeated the following year and so began a struggle between authority and fruit throwing youth with the latter, on this occasion, winning out with the local council eventually taking on responsibility for organising the festival in the 1970's. Today the festival has been recognised nationally by the Secretary Department of Tourism in Spain as a Festivity of International Tourist Interest.
With numbers reaching up to 40 or 50 thousand, local government - citing health and safety concerns - have since 2012 limited the number of attendees to around 20,000. On the day trucks arrive from Extremadura and deliver the haul to Plaza del Pueblo with battle commencing at 11am.
For further info and great pictures go to the official La Tomatina Twitter page.
Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: La Tomatina (25.08.2010) - Spain, Buñol
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