Since 1945, thousands of people have been gathering in the tiny Spanish town of Buñol to throw thousands of kilograms of tomatoes at each other, and every year is seemingly more glorious than the last.
Held annually on the last Wednesday of August, 22,000 punters from all over the world descended on the town for La Tomatina overnight (check out footage from the festival’s official live stream below).
The peculiar tradition was reportedly born after a couple of local boys tossed tomatoes during a religious procession in 1944 or 1945, though its origins are murky. The next year, legend has it that more locals returned with more tomatoes, and while authorities attempted to ban the messy tradition a number of times during the 1950s, it survived, eventually becoming the highlight of the town’s annual celebrations.
Today, it’s estimated that more than 150 metric tonnes of tomatoes meet their squishy fate during the single hour the food fight takes place. A ticketing system was introduced in 2014 after an estimated 50,000 people overran the town (the regular population is somewhere around 9000 people).
La Tomatina is pencilled in for August 29, 2018, though it’s worth keeping an eye out for updates. Tickets including accommodation start at around $240 (E159), while there are a number of day tours available from Barcelona, starting at $150 (E99).
(Lead image: @mariameetsana / Instagram)[qantas_widget code=BCN]Check out Qantas flights to Barcelona.[/qantas_widget]
Kristen Amiet is a previous AWOL editor, bona fide travel addict, sometimes whisky drinker and full-time breakfast food enthusiast.