This Wednesday on August 26 in a small Spanish town located in the region of Valencia will be held one of the most popular street festivals in Spain. This festival is called La Tomatina, and for nearly 60 years it is held in the city of Bunol, in the eastern Spain. Spanish holidays and festivals in general are particularly splendor, spectacular and original, but even among them La Tomatina stands out of the crowd. After the main event of the festival, which annually attracts about forty thousand Spaniards and tourists from all around the world, is the so-called Battle of tomatoes, which is the unforgettable performance.
The history of La Tomatina began in 1945, when at the end of the summer holiday a group of young people had a friendly scuffle. As the event took place near the vegetable rows, so as a projectile friends used tomatoes. Soon, throwing tomatoes have become popular among a large number of citizens, and ceased to be a harmless scuffle so that the police had to intervene and it arrested the perpetrators of the incident and forced them to pay for the spoiled vegetables. However, exactly one year later, on the last Wednesday of August, all participants gathered at the old place, but this time they brought tomatoes with them and friends. So, some time later it became a tradition to arrange tomato fights, although in 1957, during the Franco regime, La Tomatina was banned as a "celebration, which has no religious significance", but within 3 years of public pressure the local authorities had to cancel the ban on tomato fighting.
Now La Tomatina is a truly grand scale event, the participants do not bring tomatoes with them anymore; they are supplied by the city’s authorities. Exactly at 11 o'clock the shot of firecracker marks the beginning of the battle, after which the trucks with tomatoes enter the square, their number often exceeds 100 tons. The rules are very simple: every man fights for himself, it is allowed to throw only tomatoes, tomato should be crushed before throwing, so as not to cause injury, after the second signal of the firecracker the fighting finishes.
After the battle, the walls of surrounding houses become red, and tomato liquid on the pavement reaches the ankles and the phrase "tomato river" has not a figurative meaning.