La Tomatina Paints the Town Red

La Tomatina Paints the Town Red

Samia El-Balawi

Let’s admit it, everybody loves a good food fight, it doesn’t matter what your age. So why not head to the town of Buñol near Valencia for what is one of the ‘World’s Biggest Food Fights’ – La Tomatina. Held the last Wednesday of August each year, thousands flock to this Spanish town to hurl tons of tomatoes at each other. Sound like fun? It is! So don your tattiest attire and prepare to see red!

The fest actually starts about a week before the fruit flinging begins, increasing the somewhat sleepy town’s population from roughly 9,000 by more than 20,000-plus. An assortment of dance, firework displays, music and parades are all fitting entertainment before the madness commences. The night before the ‘fight’, a massive paella cook-off is held, which seems especially apt in the region where the dish was created and necessary for the amount of energy you’ll expel the following day.

And then, from about 11:00am for an hour or so the town is literally painted red from the juice and pulp of about 125,000 kilos of tomatoes. Traditionally, the tossing of toms is preceded by a rather difficult task where some brave soul must climb a pole that is not only greased up but holds a ham at a height of about two storeys. The meat treat isn’t always easily reached and so the firing of water cannons signals the start of the fest. From here on out, crimson coloured mayhem spreads through the streets where it’s every man (and woman) for himself. When it’s all over, seek out a hose pipe from a local shop owner or immerse yourself in the waters of the Buñol River to wash away the dyes of the day.

Valencia’s accommodation choices are expansive and if you’re looking for a room at a reasonable rate that doesn’t cut back on service try the Confortel Aqua 3 Hotel, conveniently situated above the Aqua Centre shopping mall. For a 5-star choice on the waterfront, check into the Balneario Las Arenas Hotel that boasts facilities, such as a spa, both an indoor and outdoor pool, and restaurant. Further deals can be found on our Valencia Hotel Promotion page.

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