La Tomatina: Celebrate 70 years of the the world’s biggest food fight with the greatest splats

26 August 2015

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La Tomatina festival will see around 40,000 people pack the streets of the small Valencian town to hurl 40 TONNES of tomatoes at each other

People immersed in tomato juice during the Tomatina in 2005-breaking news-people re-el magazine

Goal: The aim is to climb the greasy pole and knock the ham off the top

Revellers are preparing to paint the town red to celebrate 70 years of the biggest food fights in the world.

La Tomatina festival sees around 40,000 people pack the streets of the Spanish town of Buñol to hurl 40 TONNES of tomatoes at each other.

The event takes place every year on the last Wednesday of August and lasts for exactly one hour, from 10am to 11am.

Messy business: Girls make their way home

Submerged: Young man keeps his head above the squashed tomatoes

Around 150,000 tomatoes are hurled during the fight. The tomatoes come from Extremadura, where they are less expensive and of inferior taste.

The festival is believed to have originated in 1945 when a group of young men staged a protest in the town’s main square during the parade of gigantes y cabezudos.

The gang grabbed tomatoes from a nearby vegetable stand and used the fruit as weapons, forcing the police to intervene and break up the fight.

Squashed: Revellers lie in tomato pulp

Frenzy: While revellers try to climb the pole, the crowd sing and dance while being sprayed with water hoses

The rules of the game are simple: Squash your tomatoes before throwing them; only tomatoes can be hurled; give way to lorries; don’t rip t-shirts and stop when you’re told to.

To mark 70 years of the messiest of festivals, Mirror Online brings you the fifty greatest splats from the last decade with all you need to know about La Tomatina…

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