Wednesday, September 4, 2013

La Tomatina Festival - Not for Wimps

La Tomatina is the name of a week-long food fight festival in Buñol, Spain, that coincides with our Labor Day holiday. It begins on the last Wednesday of August and thousands of participants travel from all over the world to toss over-ripe tomatinas at each other in the streets.

The townspeople of Buñol gather at around 10:00 am and truck loads of rotten tomatinas are hauled into the Plaza del Pueblo, then; it’s every man for himself.

The week-long festival also includes music, parades, dancing, and fireworks.

La Tomatina started back in 1944 as a local food fight among friends and extended to hammering local politicians. However, it was banned under Francisco Franco for not being a religious holiday. It was resurrected again during the 1970s, and dedicated as a festival in honor of the town's patron saints, San Luis Bertran and Mare de Déu dels Desemparats, which translates “Mother of God of the defenseless.”

This holiday appears to be much more fun than our ordinary Labor Day celebration. If we adopted the tradition in the U.S., we could call it the Rotten Tomato and Salsa Festival, throw tomatoes at politicians, or equivalent effigy, and award cash prizes for the best salsa recipes.

No comments: