The ultimate tomato throwing festival takes place in Buñol, Spain, on the
last Wednesday in August.
What Happens at the Tomatina Tomato Festival
While there are no official rules for the Tomatina, there is an
unofficial code of conduct. For instance, tomatoes should be squished
discrepancy between is supposed to happen, and what actually happens is the
wearing of shirts. Officially, you are not supposed to pull another
people's shirt off their back. Actually, anyone wearing a T-shirt soon gets it ripped
However, I get ahead of myself, the Tomatina starts at about 10:00 am.
The plan is that before the first tomato is thrown, someone
must succeed at shinning up a greasy pole to reach the coveted ham at the top. In
practice, the water cannons discharge a quick squirt of water and a torrent
of tomatoes is let loose on the crowd. Thinking about it, what a great
idea to have an early morning start before the participants could do any
After about an hour the water cannons mark the end of the tomato orgy.
They also perform the useful function of clearing up after the Tomatina.
One pleasant side-effect is that the acidic nature of the tomatoes has a
scouring effect and cleans the streets beautifully. As for the people,
they often jump in the river Buñol to get rid of all those tomato pips
lodged awkward places.
Origins of the Tomatina Tomato Festival
Although the festival has
only been going since the 1940s, what triggered the first Tomatina is
unclear, Will and Guy's favorite story is that a group of drinkers threw
tomatoes in an attempt to silence a particularly tuneless busker.
Gordon Graham of Edmond, Oklahoma, USA, holds the honour of growing the
world's largest tomato, which he cultivated in his greenhouse some time ago
In fact, the entire plant became record-setting when it grew to 53 feet
and 6 inches, the longest tomato vine ever grown.
Tomatoes - Food for Health
A study at Harvard Medical School in 2001 of 124,000 men and women showed
that those who ate the most tomatoes reduced their chances of getting lung
cancer by 25%.
Robert, who was 6 years old, was looking at the red ripe tomatoes growing
in Farmer White's garden. 'I'll give you my two pennies for that
tomato,' said Robert pointing to a beautiful, large, ripe fruit hanging on
'No, I can't do that,' replied Farmer White, 'I can get a dime for a
tomato like that one.'
So Robert pointed to a smaller green tomato, 'Will you take two pennies
for that one?'
'Oh, yes,' answered the farmer, 'I'll give you that one
for two cents.'
'OK,' said Robert smiling, sealing the deal by putting the coins in the
Farmer White's hand, 'I'll collect it in a week's time.'
Did You Know?
- The word tomato came from the Nahuatl Aztec word, "tomatl".
- Tomatoes, as everyone knows, are fruits not vegetables.
- Fewer people know that avocadoes, pumpkins, coconuts, cucumbers,
peas, beans [green as well as all other beans], peppers, corn,
aubergines, squash and all kinds of nuts are also fruits.
- Tomatoes were originally yellow: hence the Italian name pomodoro,
- Red tomatoes came later, discovered in Mexico by two Jesuit priests
who brought their seeds back to Europe.
- A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins. -
- Supposedly Ronald Reagan didn't eat a tomato for 70 years. His
dislike of tomatoes sprang from a childhood prank. He had been given
what he thought was an apple, but when he took a bite realised it was a
- Tomato juice is the official state beverage of Ohio, USA.
- There are at least 10,000 varieties of tomatoes.
- Tomatoes are a natural source of the antioxidant "lycopene", which
may help prevent heart disease. In this regard, Will and Guy have
learned that cooked tomatoes are better for you than raw.
Calendar of special day events, days of celebration:
• Special day today
Memorial Day •
Grand National •
Trafalgar Day •
Midsummer's Day •
Festival days •
Father's day •
Lady Day •
Earth Day •
• 4th of July •
Pamplona Bulls •
Blackberry day •
Tomatina Spain •
Friday 13th superstitions