At the annual Tomatina fiesta 160 tonnes of ripe tomatoes were offloaded from trucks into a crowd of 22,000 half-naked revelers who packed the streets of Bunol for an hour-long battle.
Rules of the festival:
The city council follows a short list of instructions for the safety of the participants and the festival:
- The tomatoes have to be squashed before throwing to avoid injuries.
- No other projectiles except tomatoes are allowed.
- Participants have to make way for trucks and lorries.
- After the second shot indicative of ending the tomato hurl, no tomatoes should be thrown.
Usually, the fight lasts for an hour, after which the whole town square has been covered with tomato paste. Fire trucks then hose down the streets and participants often use hoses that locals provide to remove the tomato paste from their bodies. Some participants go to the pool of “los peñones” to wash. Afterwards, the village cobblestone streets are completely clean due to the acidity of the tomato disinfecting and thoroughly cleaning the surfaces.
In 2015, it is estimated that almost 145000 kg of tomatoes were thrown.
In 1957, demand for the popular festival led to its becoming official, with certain rules and restrictions. These rules have gone through many modifications over the years.