A VILLAGE in Valencia is gearing up for the ‘World’s Biggest Food Fight’ this week, La Tomatina.
Buñol, just 38km inland from Valencia, has received global fame in the past few decades for hosting one the world’s most enjoyable yet bizarre festivals where thousands flock to pelt each other with tomatoes.
Before 2013, up to 50,000 people would descend on the town to take part in the festivities, dramatically increasing the town’s modest population of 9,000 citizens. There is now an official ticketing system in order to prevent over-expansion, which limits the numbers to 20,000 lucky participants.
At around 11am at the town’s main square, Plaza Del Pueblo, trucks will bring in some 180,000 tomatoes – an estimated 160 tonnes – ripe for pelting.
Although it does seem like an hour of tomatoey chaos, there are rules in place to prevent injuries:
- Do not bring bottles or hard objects
- Do not rip other people’s T-shirts
- You must squash the tomatoes before throwing them as this reduces the impact
- Ensure you keep a safe distance from the lorries
- As soon as you hear the second shot, you must stop throwing tomatoes
It is also advisable not to wear flip-flops, and use old clothes you don’t intend to wear again. Take a waterproof camera if you want to take pictures!