See 22,000 people pelt each other with ripe tomatoes at Spain’s annual La Tomatina festival

Held every year in the small town of Bunol, near Valencia in Spain, La Tomatina festival is famously billed as ‘the world’s biggest food fight’. Now in its 72nd year, the event sees crowds of locals and tourists alike taking to the streets to pelt each other with 150 metric tonnes of ripe tomatoes.

The festival has proven so popular in the past (attracting a record high of 50,000 people in 2012) that a ticketing system was put in place, with this year’s event hosting an estimated 22,000 people. On the morning of the event, trucks haul tomatoes into Plaza del Pueblo in the centre of town. The festival does not technically begin until someone in the crowd manages to climb to the top of a two-storey high, greased-up wooden pole to reach a ham that is dangling from the peak. This often proves too difficult, and the food fight breaks out without anyone reaching the prize.

Dating back to 1944, the exact origins of the tomato fight are unknown. One popular theory is that disgruntled townspeople attacked city councilmen with tomatoes during a town celebration, sparking a tradition that was repeated annually.

See 22,000 people pelt each other with ripe tomatoes at Spain’s annual La Tomatina festival

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