La Tomatina is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol, a town located in the East of Spain 30 kilometres (19 mi) from the Mediterranean, in which participants throw tomatoes and get involved in this tomato fight purely for entertainment purposes. Since 1945 it has been held on the last Wednesday of August, during the week of festivities of Buñol.
It started the last Wednesday of August in 1945 when some young people spent the time in the town square to attend the Giants and Big-Heads figures parade. The young boys decided to have a place among the retinue of a parade with musician, Giants and Big-Heads figures. The energy of these young people made that one participant fall off. The participant flew into a fit of rage, started to hit everything in his path. There was a market stall of vegetable that fell victim of the furious crowd: people started to pelt each other with tomatoes until the local forces ended that fruit battle. The following year, the young people picked a quarrel by their own decision and brought the tomatoes from home. Although the police broke up the early tradition in the following years, the young boys had made history without being conscious about it. La Tomatina was banned in the early 50s, which was not a problem for the participants who were even arrested. But the people spoke and the festivity was again allowed with more participants and more frenetic feelings. The festivity was again cancelled till 1957 when, as a sign of protest, the tomato burial was held. It was a demonstration in which the residents carried a coffin with a huge tomato inside.
The parade was accompanied by a music band which played funeral marches and it was totally successful. La Tomatina Festival was finally allowed and became an official festivity. As a result of the report of Javier Basilio, broadcast in the Spanish television program called Informe Semanal, the festivity started to be known in the rest of Spain. Since then, the number of participants increased year after year as well as the excitement about La Tomatina Festival.
In 2002, La Tomatina of Buñol was declared Festivity of International Tourist Interest by the Secretary Department of Tourism due to its success