Tomatoes with that?
by Laura Ellis on Tuesday, August 31, 2010
What better way to celebrate the final days of august than La Tomatina?! This annual ancient celebration took place once more to roaring sucesss last week in the Valencian city of Buñol, with over 40,000 people turning up on Wednesday to throw over 125 tonnes of tomatoes at each other. The small city centre was swamped and even at this rough estimate of participants, one can see its popularity in the fact that the local population increased by almost four fold on this day.
As one would expect, injuries were few and far between, with seemingly only ten participants affected, and those who were only experienced cuts and bruises, a far cry from the problems of this months Love Parade in Berlin.
The legendary cries of ¡Tomate! ¡Tomate! launched the celebrations at midday follwing a one minute silence held in recognition of the two Guardia Civil officers who were killed in a terrorist attack in Afghanistan the previous day.
The event itself comes as part of an annual one week festival in this small town, and its origins date back to late 19th and early 20th century, making it modern in terms of Spanish history, as well as culturally as it seemingly has no religious significance, clearly apparent normally for example in Semana Santa. Furthermore this festival is particularly significant due to the recognition that it brings to Buñol, a small town around 40km north of Valencia, as well as dramatically increasing by thousands the town's income.
Furthermore, this local party has become famous worldwide and is now being used as an inspiration for events worldwide. Korean authorities have been researching the organisation of the event in order to help them in the growth of their own mud festival that has been happening for the last 12 years, as well hoping to twin the events. In addition, film directors from Bollywood have set up a number of cameras to film the event in order to be used in the upcoming film 'Zidagi na milegi Dobara'.