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La Tomatina is a food fight festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol. It is celebrated on the last Wednesday of August each year wherein participants throw tomatoes and get involved in a tomato fight purely for entertainment.
Buñol is a town and municipality in the province of Valencia, Spain, and is situated approximately 38 km west of Valencia. Thousands of people make their way from all corners of the world to fight in the ‘World’s Biggest Food Fight’.
The event has become one of the highlights of Spain’s summer festivals calendar with thousands of people flocking to this little Valencian town for the messy event.
See the fact file below for more information on the La Tomatina or alternatively, you can download our 24-page La Tomatina worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
La Tomatina Facts
- Although the origins of the tradition are not completely certain, there are popular theories suggesting that it was all started by a small group of young people.
- The tradition is said to have begun in August of 1945 when some young people spent time in the town square to attend the Giants and Big-Heads figures parade.
- A fight broke out among a crowd of people at the parade and they ended up near a market that was selling vegetables.
- In retaliation, the youngsters grabbed tomatoes from a nearby vegetable stall and started throwing them until the police arrived to intervene.
- Throughout the years the festival underwent intermittent bans and cancellations but has always been brought back due to its popularity.
- In the early 50s, under the administration of dictator Francisco Franco, the local council tried to ban the El Día de la Tomatina as the authorities did not find it amusing and there were many complaints from the older population of the town. However, some of the locals were unstoppable and began once again throwing tomatoes at each other. Some participants were even arrested.
- In August 1957, a tomato burial parade was held in the town as a sign of protest. Residents carried a coffin with a huge tomato inside. Due to pressure from the locals, La Tomatina took place again in 1959 with a condition that tomato throwing could only begin with the sound of a horn and would cease when the horn sounded again.
- A few years later, Francisco Franco died and Spain began to open up to tourism and some politicians supplied the tomatoes for the locals to throw.
- La Tomatina Festival finally became an official festival with rules and regulations. The festival is in honor of the town’s patron saints, Luis Bertran and the Virgin Mary.
- In 2002, La Tomatina was named as a “Festivity of International Tourist Interest” by Spain’s tourism secretary because of its huge success attracting visitors from around the world.
- Participants are required to buy tickets for the event so that the local government is able to control the size of the crowd. Only 20,000 lucky people can join the event each year.
- Below are the rules of tomato-throwing according to La Tomatina Official Festival Regulations.
- Shopkeepers along the festival street cover their shopfronts with sheets of plastic in order to keep the mess out. For the participants, it is suggested to wear old clothes since it will most likely end up damaged. Goggles might also come in handy to cover your eyes. Wear closed shoes and not flip flops to avoid getting hurt during the battle. If you are planning to take pictures, make sure to waterproof your camera!
DURING THE FESTIVAL
- The first event known as the “El Palo Jabón” starts at 10 AM at the town square, Plaza Del Pueblo, where a greased pole is erected and a Spanish ham (jamon) is placed on top of it. The participants attempt to climb the pole to reach the ham. The tomato fight commences only after someone is able to grab the piece of meat at the top.
- The highlight of the festival is the tomato fight, which begins when the horn sounds. A number of large trucks drive into the square, loaded with tomatoes. The fight usually starts at around 11 AM. Participants aboard the trucks begin throwing tomatoes at the people on the ground and the fight begins.
- After an hour, the siren belts out indicating the end of the tomato fight and no more tomatoes can be thrown. At that point, all the people and buildings are covered in tomato mess. Large trucks with hoses are used to wash down the streets and the participants.
La Tomatina Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about La Tomatina across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use La Tomatina worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the La Tomatina which is a food fight festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol. It is celebrated on the last Wednesday of August each year wherein participants throw tomatoes and get involved in a tomato fight purely for entertainment. Buñol is a town and municipality in the province of Valencia, Spain, and is situated approximately 38 km west of Valencia. Thousands of people make their way from all corners of the world to fight in the ‘World’s Biggest Food Fight’. The event has become one of the highlights of Spain’s summer festivals calendar with thousands of people flocking to this little Valencian town for the messy event.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- La Tomatina Facts
- Let’s Make History!
- Ground Rules
- Go Red!
- Tomato War!
- Join the Fun!
- Festival Goers
- Wacky Festival
- Crossword Fest
- Fill in the Blanks
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Link will appear as La Tomatina Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 20, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.