La Tomatina: a guide to Spain's messiest festival
The mayhem takes place in Buñol’s main square and Calle del Cid. At around 9am a large greased pole with a ham attached to the end of it is hoisted into the air, and there's a mad scramble as people struggle against each other to pull it down. At precisely 11am, regardless of whether someone has successfully grabbed the ham (which is rare), a cannon is fired and over 120 tonnes of ripe, squishy tomatoes are tipped from trucks to the waiting crowd. For the next hour, everyone joins in a frenzied, cheerful, anarchic tomato battle until a second cannon fire signals the end of play. Then it's a mad dash for the closest local wielding a garden hose.