La Tomatina
Where and when does this festival
take place?
History of the festival
on these
When and how does it start?
El palo jabón
Explain what happens during the
List the 5 rules of the festival
Name 5 other places around the
world who have copied this
View these websites
en la red
om/ (Video)
¿Cómo se dice en inglés?
la batalla
una guerra de tomates
el pelo jabón
los camioneros
los fuegos de artificio
Your Opinion / Tu opinión
 Would you enjoy taking part? Why / why
 What do you think this festival says about
Spanish people?
 Do we have anything similar in New
 What are the positive things which would
result from this festival?
 Do you see any negatives?
Fiestas in Spain
 Do some internet research to find out
about another festival which is celebrated
in Spain.
 – Spanish Fiestas
 Make a powerpoint presentation for the
class about your chosen festival
 Give the Spanish name of the festival
 Where, when, why, how is it celebrated?
 Include photos
Answers / Respuestas
La Tomatina is held on the last
Wednesday of August, during the
week of festivities of Buñol. It is
30km from the Mediterranean near
 In 1945, during a parade of gigantes y cabezudos,
young men who wanted to be in the event staged
a brawl in town's main square, the Plaza del
Pueblo. There was a vegetable stand nearby, so
they picked up tomatoes and used them as
 In 1950, the town allowed the tomato hurl to take
place, however the next year it was again stopped.
A lot of young people were imprisoned but the
Buñol residents forced the authorities to let them
go. The festival gained popularity with more and
more participants getting involved every year.
 In the year 1957, some young people planned to celebrate
"the tomato's funeral", with singers, musicians, and
comedies. The main attraction however, was the coffin with
a big tomato inside being carried around by youth and a
band playing the funeral marches. Considering this
popularity of the festival and the alarming demand, 1957
saw the festival becoming official with certain rules and
 Another important landmark in the history of this festival is
the year 1975. From this year onwards, "Los Clavarios de
San Luis Bertrán" (San Luis Bertrán is the patron of the
town of Buñol ) organised the whole festival and brought in
tomatoes which had previously been brought by the local
Soon after this, in 1980, the town hall took the
responsibility of organizing the festival.
When and how does it start?
 At around 10 AM, festivities begin with the first event of
the Tomatina. It is the "palo jabón", similar to the
greasy pole. The goal is to climb a greased pole with a
ham on top. As this happens, the crowd work into a
frenzy of singing and dancing while being showered in
water from hoses. Once someone is able to drop the
ham off the pole, the start signal for the tomato fight is
given by firing the water shot in the air and trucks make
their entry. The signal for the onset is at about 11 when
a loud shot rings out, and the chaos begins.
What happens?
 Several trucks throw tomatoes in abundance in the Plaza
del Pueblo. The tomatoes come from Extremadura,
where they are less expensive and are grown specifically
for the holidays, being of inferior taste. For the
participants the use of goggles and gloves are
recommended. The estimated number of tomatoes used
are around 150,000 i.e. over 40 metric tons. After
exactly one hour, the fight ends with the firing of the
second shot, announcing the end. The whole town
square is coloured red and rivers of tomato juice flow
freely. Fire Trucks hose down the streets and
participants use hoses that locals provide to remove the
tomato paste from their bodies. Some participants go to
the pool of “los peñones” to wash.
The Rules / Las Reglas
1. The tomatoes have to be squashed before throwing to
avoid injuries.
2. No other projectiles except tomatoes are allowed.
3. Participants have to give way to the truck and lorries.
4. The festival doesn't allow ripping off T-shirts.
5. After the second shot indicative of ending the tomato
hurl, no tomatoes should be thrown.
Other Places
1. Since 2004 the Colombian town of Sutamarchán holds a similar
event on 15 June when a surplus of tomatoes is harvested.
2. In Costa Rica the town of San José de Trojas (Valverde Vega
Canton) celebrates a tomatina during the local Tomato Fair in
3. In the town of Dongguan, in China, a tomato fight is held on 19
October, during which they use up to 15 tons of tomatoes.
4. The City of Reno, Nevada in the United States also has an
annual hour-long tomato fight that started in 2009. The event
seems to take place on the last Sunday of August and is
organized by the American Cancer Society. Organizers named
the festival La Tomatina, and give full credit for the idea to the
Spanish festival.
5. On February 12, 2011, at the field of Esparraguera, town of
Quillón, Chile, the first version of the Great Tomato War was
held. Like the Spanish Tomatina, it was a playful battle
involving young people.

La-Tomatina - STANZA | Spanish Teachers` Association of New