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How did the Tomatina Festival become a world phenomenon

La Tomatina is a food fight festival that takes place every year on the last Wednesday of August in the small town of Buñol, 30 minutes away from Valencia.


Thousands of people from every corner of the planet fight in the “World’s Biggest Food Battle” – with more than 50,000 gathering in the surroundings of the battlefield. The small town of Buñol has a population of 9,000 and after its increasing popularity, the organisation had to limit access to the battlefield to only 20,000 people.

Trucks full of tomatoes enter the city center where ‘soldiers’ wearing swimsuits and goggles are ready to throw and receive the red vegetable. The signal for the beginning of the battle is the firing of wáter cannons and then chaos begins – it’s every man/women for himslef/herself.

After an hour long the fight reaches its end. After this 60 minute no more tomatoes can be thrown . Participants covered with the red juice start leaving and the cleaning trucks start their busiest day of the year.

It’s origin is uncertain and multiple theories can be read in the internet. What’s clear is that if you’re planning to study or work in Valencia, la Tomatina is a festival you should definitely consider going.

Tips / Useful advice

  • Do not wear flip-flops, you may get hurt or you could lose them easily during the battle
  • Wear closed shoes that you don’t mind throwing away
  • Goggles are extremely useful
  • Bring a waterproof camera
  • Train and public transport is possibly the best way to travel to Buñol from Valencia


Photo: nationalgeographic

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