Every year tens of thousands descend on the tiny town of Bunol for the anual tomato fight.. yes as in red and normally eaten in a salad or on pan catalan. Pan Catalan will be found in any Spanish Tapas bar or restaurant - its simple yet really delicious: lightly toasted bread on which you rub fresh garlic, drizzle on some olive oil then spread the tomato - yum!
The tomato fight happens on the last Wednesday of August and this year it falls on Wednesday 29th August - the event has become one of the highlights on Spain´s summer festival calendar... it is certainly unique.
|Bunol ... ap 40 km inland from Valencia|
The tomato fight signifies the end of a week long fiesta in the town but most of the participants come from across Spain or in fact it has been known from across the world specifically for this madness! The actual tomato fight starts at 11am and lasts for exactly an hour... it is all very well supervised - it has to be with approximately 30,000 people!
At the end of the hour a canon is fired to signify the finish of the tomato fight and then the fire trucks come out and hose everything and everybody down. It is advisable to have a change of clothing and NOT to wear anything that you want to keep - most strip off and throw everything that they have worn away (obviously with a clean dry change to hand). Also it is suggested that you do not wear flip flops as you are likely to loose them, as you can imagine with that many people tripping over each other it wouldn´t be too difficult!
No-one really knows how or why the tradition was started but it has been going for many decades - there are various theories but it was banned under dictator Franco´s rule as it was a "fiesta of no religious significance". However, after his demise in the 1970´s it returned and continues to grow in popularity.