Everything started the last Wednesday of August in 1945, when a group of boys were hanging out in the town square in order to watch the giants parade and other festivities. The boys decided to squeeze into the parade, and their vigour made one of the participants fall, who got angry and started hitting everything in sight. As chance would have it, there was a vegetable stand, and people started throwing tomatoes to each other until the police arrived and stopped the vegetable battle.
Next year, the boys repeated the whole ordeal voluntarily and took the tomatoes home. Even though police broke up this recently established tradition on subsequent years, the boys, unknowingly, had made history.
The Tomatina was banned at the start of the 1950s, but this didn’t dissuade its participants, who even got arrested. But the people spoke and the activity was allowed eventually, more people joined in and it became more and more frenetical until it was banned again until 1957. As a sign of protest, the funeral of the tomato was held that year: a demonstration where the townsfolk carried a coffin with a big tomato inside. The parade was accompanied by a music band playing a funeral march. Its success was absolute and the Tomatina was finally established as an official holiday.
The holiday became popular in the rest of Spain thanks to a feature piece by Javier Basilio on the national television programme Informe Semanal in 1983. Since then, the number of participants hasn’t stopped growing.
This success allowed La Tomatina to become Holiday of International Touristic Interest by the General Tourism Office.
ACCESS TO THE VENUE
RULES AND TIPS
RULES FOR A FUN TOMATINA
When is the Tomatina held?
Last Wednesday of August. In 2019 it will be August 28th, but every year is a different day.
What time does it start? How early do I need to arrive?
La Tomatina begins at 11:00 with a fireworks shell, but we recommend you be there at least 2 hours early.
Can minors participate?
La Tomatina can be dangerous for minors. It is not recommended for children under 16, and parents or legal guardians will be responsible for them. In case of taking them inside, it is recommended to follow the guidelines set for minors.
Can I bring bags or bottles?
For everyone’s safety, people with bags, cameras or any potentially dangerous object will be denied access. Any hard object or any object that could cause harm to others is disallowed.
Do I need to carry identification?
Yes. It is recommended that you bring a certified copy of your identity document and to have the original safely stored in case it is necessary to get it for identification purposes.
How should I throw the tomatoes?
Crush them slightly before throwing them. That way the impact will be softer. It’s also important to keep a safe distance from the trucks.
When does the Tomatina end?
It ends at 12:00 sharp with another fireworks shell. As soon as you hear the explosion, stop throwing tomatoes.
What do I do when it’s over? Where can I take a shower?
- Don’t tear nor throw t-shirts. You will help those cleaning the street afterwards.
- Follow the advice of our security personnel.
- There are fountains all over town where you can clean off the tomato. Don’t worry, you’ll see them right away.
- Please spend a moment studying the map of the venue so that you know the emergency procedure. They can come in handy.
- Keep an eye on your personal items at all times.
- Keep your distance from the tomato trucks and the bridge area.
- Drink responsibly.
- Make sure to plenty of water and mind the sun.
- Don’t occupy the side streets unless you need to in order to let the trucks pass.
- Observe the “no parking” signs.
- If you’re driving, pay extra attention due to the large amount of pedestrians.
- Observe the rules of La Tomatina.
- If you’re bringing in a minor:
- Keep an eye on them at all times.
- Write a phone contact number on their arm.
- Tell them to seek out the Tomatina staff in case of getting lost.
- Keep them away from the trucks.
- In case of emergency, exit through the closest street following the security staff instructions. Don’t lose time getting any items and never trace back.
- Stay calm and walk to the closest exit street.
- Don’t push others. There’s enough time for everyone to exit orderly.
- Be extra careful and avoid falling or making others fall. If you see someone fall over, stop and help them.
- Help all of those that need may need it: the elderly, disabled, children or injured.
- The evaluation staff is watching out for you. Follow their instructions at all times and trust their skills.
- Once outside of the venue, go back to your residence and wait there until the emergency is declared over by the authorities.
- If you have any problem call the emergency phone and we will help you as rapidly as possible.
Town Hall: 96 250 01 51
Local services: 96 250 30 85
Local bus: 96 250 01 51
Post office: 96 250 14 17
Hydroelectric plant: 96 250 09 56
Taxis: 616 46 88 91
CIM La Armónica (secretary): 96 250 01 53
CIM La Armónica (school): 96 250 03 30
SM La Artística: 96 250 02 50
SM La Artística (Montecarlo Theater): 96 250 24 14
Bus: 96 349 14 25
Renfe railroad information: 902 320 320
Local police: 96 250 01 07
Guardia civil: 96 250 01 23
Protección Civil: 96 250 01 07
Ranger: 96 250 10 26
Appointments: 96 252 59 70
Emergencies: 96 252 59 72
Sanjuan Nadal: 96 250 09 54
Victor Sanchis: 96 250 02 62
Isabel Izquierdo: 96 250 00 56
Ventas: 96 250 12 56
Local swimming pool: 96 250 07 57
San Rafael Conservatory: 96 250 12 57
Library: 96 250 07 51
Planell Sports Center: 609 05 74 50
Community school: 96 250 30 85
Museum: 96 250 01 51
Local radio: 96 250 20 66 – 96 250 45 08
BUINSA: 96 250 30 59
Tourist Office: 96 250 38 86
Cervantes: 96 250 06 63
San Luis: 96 180 83 60
Sagrada Familia: 96 250 00 54
IES Buñol: 96 250 06 74
Ventas: 96 250 26 07 – 653 15 16 03
Bau: 96 250 33 35
The young ones have their own yearly appointment in this international holiday. Made specifically for them, the Children’s Tomatina is designed to ensure safety and fun in equal measure.
Saturday, August 24th 2019.
At the town square.
What’s the required age for participating?
Children 4 to 14 years old can participate.
Do I need to buy a ticket?
No. It’s a free event an no ticket or token is required.
Can parents participate?
While the children are enjoying themselves, parents can cheer on them and take pictures from the sidelines.
Don’t forget to bring a clean set of clothes and some towels!