Imagine swimming in a vast pool of tomatoes and getting smashed left, right and centre with tomato pulp. Oh yes, you guessed it right, we are talking about La Tomatina — Spain’s tomato throwing festival.
The last Wednesday of every August, the tiny Mediterranean town of Bunol turns into a juicy battleground. For the carnage to begin, a participant is required to scale a nearly 2-storey high, greasy pole and drop a slice of ham tied to its top. A siren is then sounded, water cannons are fired and sheer madness ensues. Trucks stocked with fully-ripe tomatoes make their way to the venue and the tomatoes are then splattered by a 20-thousand plus crowd. The ruthless squishing, squashing and smashing goes on for close to an hour post which a siren is sounded to indicate it is goodbye time. After the hour-long tomato-bathing session, revellers head for a dip in the Bunol river to wash away their ‘saucy’ sins.
Those heading for this year’s ‘fruitful’ fiesta do bear these things in mind:
. Squash the tomatoes before pelting them as this will not only make it juicier it will also reduce the impact
. A tomato-proof phone/camera is a must – if it is a phone make sure it is wrapped in a waterproof case
. No matter how excited you are – keep a safe distance from the lorries
. Be a stickler for rules – stop the pelting once the second siren is sounded
. If you are travelling via bus make sure to take note of where it is parked since most buses are similar, and in the mad rush after the festival it can become impossible to find yours
. Make sure your shirt is tucked in so you have at least some dry portion to wipe your eyes
. Those who wear contact lenses must carry two pairs of goggles because a back-up is always a good idea
. Flip-flops must surely be avoided as they would only increase the chance of getting hurt. Closed shoes are advisable
. Make sure you make all your travel, stay bookings in advance.