La Tomatina

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Bunol, Spain

Where, exactly, is Bunol, Spain? Check out the links below to find out a little about the city's location and some basic facts about it.


Google Maps

You can use Google Maps to search for "Bunol, Spain." This will reveal the city's location in the world.


Route Earth

Route Earth has information on Bunol, such as the languages spoken there, weather, and its many attractions.

Francisco Franco

Some people believe that Francisco Franco, a Spanish dictator, may have been one of the reasons for the start of the La Tomatina festival. Whether or not this is true, it is certain that Franco did ban the festival at one point in time. To read a little more about Francisco Franco, as well as why he banned the festival, explore the links below.

Encyclopedia Britannica offers a concise but detailed biography on Francisco Franco.

"Francisco Franco" from Encyclopedia Britannica

Want to learn more about Franco's rule over Spain? Check out "Spain--The Franco Years"

"Spain--The Franco Years"

Why did Franco ban the tomato festival? Click the link below to find out.

Inside World Festivals: La Tomatina


Paella is a popular Spanish dish and is an integral part to the La Tomatina festival. In fact, the night before the festival, a paella cook-off is held and cooks try to win the favor of others with variations of this dish. has a strong article that discusses what paella is and how this dish has originated.

"Paella--An Introduction to Spanish Paella"

For recipes on paella, check out Spain Recipe's "Paella Recipes." Here you'll find what they believe are "easy" recipes for the Spanish food.

"Paella Recipes"

What Is La Tomatina?

What, exactly, is La Tomatina? Check out some of the links below to gain some first-hand perspectives on the topic and learn what has been said about it in the news.

BBC's "In Depth Photo Gallery" has pictures that highlight what goes on during this festival.

"In Pictures: La Tomatina"

Check out the official website for the festival. You'll want to use Google translator to help you understand the Spanish on the page.


ABC's "A Foodfight with a Difference" discusses what this festival is and what it's all about.

"A Foodfight with a Difference"

Mike Steere tells about his first-hand experience at La Tomatina in 2008 and how it made him feel in "Lust for Red Pulp."

"Lust for Red Pulp"

Origins of La Tomatina


Photo Credits

The true roots of the La Tomatina festival are both unknown and widely debated.  In this section, you will find three of the most common versions of how this festival started and became so popular.

Theory #1: The Bad Musician

Read the following BBC News article to get a sense of what the festival is about and learn one of the more popular reasons for its existence.

"Tomato Throwing Festival in Spain"

Theory #2: Down with the Franco Regime

The short documentary "La Tomatina--Spain" by Journeyman Pictures discusses how the festival was likely an act of rebellion against the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

"La Tomatina--Spain"

Theory #3: The Giantes y Cabezudos Parade

Spanish Fiestas discusses how a parade of people with giant heads could be the likely culprit for the La Tomatina festival.

"La Tomatina: Tomato Fight in Bunol"


The above theories are speculative and the real origins of the festival are unknown. You can use the Google search engine on this page to locate other theories about how this crazy festival originated. Which theory do you think is most likely the real one?

Accept No Substitutions

While La Tomatina is by far the oldest tomato festival (well, that uses the food as a weapon), many other events have been held worldwide, including in the US, that were inspired by the tomato fight. The links below will explain some of these smaller festivals and the reasons why they have been held. When you're done, perform a Google search and see if you can locate any other examples of copy-cat tomato fights in the world.

"Running for a New Custom"

"Downtown Reno to Host Tomato Fight"

"Tomato Fight for MTV Europe Music Awards"

"Tomato Fight in China"

Google Translator

Did you locate a Spanish word in your research that you are uncertain about? Maybe you just came across a page that is entirely written in Spanish. Either way, these online translators will help you better understand the word that troubles you.

Google Translator

For instructions on how to use Google Translator, click here.

Organization of La Tomatina

This article from KidzWorld discusses some of the events that take place during the festival, including the really odd way it begins.

"La Tomatina Festival"

If you ever get a chance to attend the La Tomatina festival, you'll want to be sure that you come prepared and follow all of the rules. Pilot Destinations discusses the festival and the rules participants must follow.

"Celebratory Tomato Fighting"

So, How Did La Tomatina Originate?

Based on what you have read and researched on your own, what do you feel to be the most likely roots of the La Tomatina festival?

So, How Did La Tomatina Originate?
Tossing tomatoes at a bad musician: 2 votes (50%)
Act of rebellion against Francisco Franco: 1 votes (25%)
Retaliation for exclusion in the Giantes y Cabezudos Parade: 1 votes (25%)
Total Votes: 4

Want to Learn More?

You might locate these titles in your classroom or be able to find them in your local library.

World Party: The Rough Guide to the World's Best Festivals

300 Unmissable Events and Festivals Around the World