La Tomatina: 10 Fun Facts About the World’s Biggest Food Fight
The Google La Tomatina Doodle 2015 celebrates the 70th anniversary of La Tomatina, the world’s biggest food fight. While a lot of Google Doodles are based on annual festivals like Christmas, New Years and the like, this is the first time that this food fight festival is being highlighted and visible to people across the globe. The Google La Tomatina Doodle 2015 designed by Nate Swinehart, depicts people pelting tomatoes at one another while being knee deep in a pile of the squished fruit. And it also shows the ham on a pole ritual. Nate also tweeted about his first-ever Google Doodle:
Upon clicking on the ‘La Tomatina Doodle’ users are directed to a search results page for La Tomatina which lists pictures and videos of the festival.
According to La Tomatina’s official website, here are the rules of the game:
1. Do not bring bottles or hard objects as they can cause accidents and hurt other participants.
2. Do not rip other people’s T-shirts.
3. You must squash the tomatoes before throwing them as this reduces the impact.
4. Ensure you keep a safe distance from the lorries.
5. As soon as you hear the second shot, you must stop throwing tomatoes.
In case you’re wondering what Spain’s, and the world’s, largest food festival is all about, we give you 10 facts about La Tomatina you did not know.
1. It takes place every year on the last Wednesday of August between 10 AM and 11 AM.
2. It starts out with the ham on a pole ritual where a challenger, with a lot of upper body strength obviously, climbs up the greased pole to secure the piece of ham.
3. Wondering how many tomatoes are used? This year, the town plans for a record 150 tonnes of tomatoes from a place called Extramedura.
4. La Tomatina 2015 will also be launching its first ever Tomatina Race, a tomato-based obstacle course.
5. As a matter of fact, this tomato-throwing tradition takes place in Bunol, a Spanish town that doesn’t even grow tomatoes. But wait, you already know this because you’ve seen the popular Bollywood movie Zindagi Na Milegi Doobara.
6. It is believed that La Tomatina started way back in 1945 when a man was pushed off a float during an annual carnival parade. In a fit of rage, the man picked up tomatoes from a vegetable shop and started to throw them at every person in sight. Some of the people repeated this act and after that it became an annual event. The authorities did try to dissolve it a few times but it finally became an official festival in 1957.
7. The festival was initially free for participants from 1945 to 2012, but in 2013 the Mayor of Bunol imposed a 10 euro entry fee for non-residents. And despite that, 17,000 tickets were sold just to foreigners this year.
8. It honours the town’s two patron saints, Luis Bertran and Mare de Deu dels Desemparats (Mother of God of the Defenseless), a title of the Virgin Mary.
9. Once the fight ends, fire-fighters wash down the streets and people with hoses. And surprisingly enough, the village looks quite clean after, all thanks to the tomato’s acidity which acts as a disinfectant.
10. 40,000 tomato enthusiasts actually show up every year for this state sanctioned food fight.