Tomato Tossing Festival Alive and Well in Spain

Yes, we all have some strange customs, but this may take the cake – or the tomato, if you will. Each year in Buñol, Spain, there is a La Tomatina Festival which includes thousands of happy revelers pelting each other with tomatoes. The festival runs for a week during the last week of August, and ends in a crazed, half-hour tomato throwing event on the last Wednesday in August.

20,000 Tomato Strong

This year there were said to be almost 20,000 participants, all chaotically tossing tomatoes at each other and getting into the act. There is a shot that rings out to indicate that the tomato tossing can begin, and another to indicate the end.

The Beginning

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One might wonder where such a bizarre tradition began. In 1944, a number of men started throwing tomatoes during the yearly festival. No one knows why, but it started the messy tradition that Buñol enjoys each year now.

Each year, 150,000 tomatoes are used for this wild celebration – which is, in total, over 90,000 pounds of tomatoes!


James Fishman has been involved in the world of online magazines for more than 15 years. He helped launch Sunstone Online and continues to improve the magazine as site editor and administrator. His writing focuses primarily business and technology. To be in touch with James, feel free to contact him at james[at]

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