Spain’s La Tomatina pageant 2022: the entire information to the world's messiest pageant

The final Wednesday in August marks Spain’s messiest pageant. Held in Buñol, 40km (25 miles) west of Valencia, La Tomatina is a tomato-throwing spectacle that pulls 20,000 revelers annually. If you happen to’re planning on changing into a part of the human passata, right here’s all the knowledge it’s worthwhile to squeeze probably the most out of this chaotic celebration.

Following a two-year COVID-19 hiatus, the pageant is about to return on August 31, 2022. Here is every little thing it’s worthwhile to go to earlier than you go. 

There is not any doubt: La Tomatina is the world’s largest (and messiest) tomato struggle © Pablo Blazquez Dominguez / Getty Photographs

What’s La Tomatina?

The (ticketed) mayhem takes place in Plaza del Pueblo (Buñol’s principal sq.) and Calle Cid. At round 9am the palo-jabón, a big greased pole with a ham connected to the top of it’s hoisted into the air and there’s a mad scramble as individuals wrestle towards one another to tug it down.

At exactly 11am, no matter whether or not somebody has efficiently grabbed the ham (which is uncommon), a firework alerts vehicles to start out tipping over 100 tonnes of overripe, squishy tomatoes onto the sq.. For the following hour, everybody joins in a frenzied, cheerful, anarchic tomato battle till a second firework alerts the top of play.

You haven’t performed La Tomatina except you…

Aren’t nonetheless discovering bits of tomato in your hair, up your nostril, below your nails and between your butt cheeks for days and even weeks after the pageant.

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What to pack

A change of garments (together with sneakers), which may usually be left on the coach you arrived on (if not, convey a backpack-style dry bag). Buñol Metropolis Council now gives showers, so you possibly can freshen as much as a level earlier than you get again on the bus.

Pack a chest strap if you happen to’re planning to movie the motion with a GoPro, as you’ll want your arms free for hurling tomatoes (or shielding your self from tomatoes being lobbed at you), and a completely waterproof cellphone case with a sturdy neck strap in your cellphone – if you happen to dare to convey it.

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Revelers enjoying the tomato pulp atmosphere of La Tomatina
Revelers having fun with the tomato pulp ambiance © Pablo Blazquez Dominguez / Getty Photographs

What to put on

Put on outdated garments and closed-in sneakers with first rate grip, and a pair of swimming goggles to guard your eyes – the acidic tomato juice can sting. Ski goggles can even work, however these will be pulled off extra simply. Go away your hat behind.

Outer layers generally get ripped off within the fray, so it’s beneficial that ladies put on a good sports activities bra or a crop-style bikini high and swim bottoms beneath, or cosy Speedos for males.

How lengthy does the tomato struggle final?

Count on the tomato tossing to final for about an hour. The chaos concludes after the second firework.

La Tomatina ‘do’ checklist

Do guarantee tomatoes are squashed earlier than you throw them. It will assist to keep away from injuring somebody however be warned that others gained’t all the time be so form.

Do bear in mind to search for. Locals take part by pelting festival-goers with their very own tomato provides from flats above the sq..

Do look out in your mates, and the individuals round you. La Tomatina will get fairly hectic. If you happen to’re not large on crowds, mess and discomfort, this isn’t the pageant for you.

Do cease throwing tomatoes when the second firework goes off. It’s throughout, people.

Do verify your journey insurance coverage. Insurance coverage is included within the pageant ticket worth, however verify it gives sufficient cowl in your wants.

La Tomatina ‘do not’ checklist

Don’t hassle attempting to keep away from getting pelted with fruit. Simply let it occur.

Don’t put on any jewellery. Significantly hoop earrings that might be painfully ripped out.

Don’t convey bottles or arduous objects. You gained’t be allowed to convey them into the pageant space, anyway.

Don’t get too near the tomato vehicles. You actually don’t need to get pushed below these tires.

Don’t drink an excessive amount of alcohol the evening earlier than (or the morning of). The stench of rotting tomatoes within the mid-summer solar isn’t any enjoyable for a dusty punter. On that observe, drink loads of water earlier than you enter the pageant; it will get very popular ready round for the enjoyable to start.

Don’t get too tough. Pushing, shoving and ripping individuals’s clothes on objective isn’t OK.

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The source of gushy tomatoes at La Tomatina
The supply of gushy tomatoes at La Tomatina © Senhan Bolelli / Anadolu Company / Getty Photographs

How do I get there?

It takes roughly an hour by bus to achieve Buñol from Valencia. All pageant tickets bought through the La Tomatina website now embrace return same-day bus transport from locations additionally together with Barcelona, Madrid, Alicante, Almería, Benidorm, Dénia, Calpe and Cartagena, so you possibly can simply come for the day if you happen to like. Remember the fact that buses from Barcelona depart at 3:30am.

What ought to I do if I need to return with a narrative?

Go on, have a go at climbing that greasy pole.

What is unquestionably a foul thought?

Bringing something to the pageant that you simply’re not comfy shedding.

What are the present COVID-19 restrictions?

There are not any COVID-19 restrictions for the 2022 pageant. If you happen to decide to put on a masks, there’s roughly zero likelihood you’ll nonetheless have it on when the hour’s up.

The place ought to I keep?

Most festival-goers (who aren’t simply busing in for the day) mattress down in Valencia, so guide early.

You may as well guide hostel and lodge lodging by the La Tomatina web site if you happen to’re eager to mingle with different punters. A variety of different operators, together with Busabout, additionally supply pageant packages.

If you happen to’re touring independently, take into account staying in Buñol for the week-long celebration, which includes music, dancing, parades and fireworks. The evening earlier than the struggle, a paella cooking competitors is held. Guide as early as attainable to safe lodging right here.

La Tomatina is surely the messiest festival in the world
La Tomatina is unquestionably the messiest pageant on this planet © Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock

Can I convey youngsters?

There’s no age restriction, however bringing younger children isn’t beneficial because the pageant can get very rowdy, with dozens of individuals injured yearly. It’s simple to grow to be separated within the fray, so if you happen to do convey youngsters, organize a gathering level earlier than the pageant will get underway, and use a everlasting marker to write down your cellphone quantity on their arm/s.

A safer choice for teenagers is the La Tomatina Infantil (Tomatina Kids) occasion (ages 4-12) held in Plaza del Pueblo the week earlier than the primary pageant. In 2022, the ‘mini battle’, which lasts as much as 40 minutes, is scheduled to be held at midday on August 22.

What can I do after the pageant?

One of many advantages of staying in Valencia is the simple entry to the official after-party held within the metropolis, with tickets out there from the La Tomatina web site.

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Remind me how this messy pageant got here to be?

In keeping with the La Tomatina web site, the pageant started in 1945, when a kerfuffle throughout a Buñol cultural parade led to a market stall of greens falling sufferer to a fired-up crowd. Townsfolk reportedly revived the meals struggle the next 12 months, bringing tomatoes from house. After the pageant was banned within the early Nineteen Fifties, a ‘tomato burial’ held in protest in 1957 paved the best way for La Tomatina to be acknowledged as an official pageant. Since 2013, the pageant has been ticketed to restrict attendees to a manageable 20,000.

Is La Tomatina a waste of meals?

The low-quality tomatoes bought cheaply for the pageant are on the flip or already rotten, so they’re unlikely to have had another future in somebody’s salad.

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I missed out on this 12 months ⁠— how do I begin planning for subsequent 12 months?

Tickets usually go on sale a number of months earlier than the pageant and might promote out, so bookmark the La Tomatina web site and regulate it for bulletins.

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