Published On: Tue, Aug 27th, 2019

La Tomantina meaning: What does La Tomantina stand for – why do they throw tomatoes? | World | News

La Tomatina is an unusual festival which debuts in Spain during summer every year. The main focus of the festival is tomatoes, not for a Spanish national dish, but a messy exchange between people on the streets. La Tomatina garners considerable attention every year, but many people do not understand the ideas behind the strange interchange.

What does La Tomatina stand for?

Translated, La Tomatina means “the Tomatina”.

The festival takes place in the small town of Buñol in the Valencia region to the east of Spain.

La Tomatina does not stand for anything in particular and is a festival held for entertainment with many possible origins.

READ MORE: La Tomatina festival Spain 2019: Why is La Tomatina celebrated?

Locals hold several theories about the origin of La Tomatina, including a food fight among friends, an exchange in tomatoes at a town parade and the aftermath of a tomato-carrying lorry spillage.

One long-held theory is that disgruntled townspeople pelted unpopular city council members with tomatoes during town celebrations on the last Wednesday of August.

The festival became popular enough for locals to continue the tradition every year following at the same time.

This year, La Tomatina takes place on August 28.

READ MORE: La Tomatina festival 2019 date: When is tomato throwing festival?

What happens during La Tomatina?

Trucks haul a cargo of tomatoes to the centre of Bunol at 11am to the Plaza del Pueblo.

The festival doesn’t technically begin until someone has climbed to the top of a greased pole in the plaza and claimed a prized ham.

As many people fail to claim the ham, the festival starts regardless and ignites with the firing of water cannons.

During the festival, people will fling tomatoes at whoever is in range, and no more tomatoes may be thrown after one hour before the remnants are flushed away with local fire trucks.

READ MORE: La Tomatina Festival: What is La Tomatina?

La Tomatina comes with rules to ensure no one is injured.

They are as follows:

– No bottles or hard objects

– No ripping other participant’s t-shirts

– People must squash and soften tomatoes before they throw them, preventing impact-related injuries

– Stay away from the tomato-carrying lorries

– Two shots will signal the end of the festival, after which no tomatoes can be thrown

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