Festival of La Tomatina

This passage describes an unusual festival called La Tomatina held in a small town in Spain.

Lexile Level: 860L

Categories: People & Places

If you like tomatoes and food fights, you would love La Tomatina. Every year on the last Wednesday in August, there is a festival in the town of Bunol, Spain. At exactly 11:00 A.M., 30,000 people gather in the town square. A ham is placed at the top of a tall, greased poll. When the first person climbs up the poll and touches the ham, the festival begins. For two hours, the crowd throws tomatoes at each other. People are told to wear goggles and gloves for protection. They are also warned to squeeze the tomatoes before they throw them. This makes the food fight more messy, but less harmful. After the food fight is over, the streets are cleaned. People wander off to hear music and eat fresh food. The festival of La Tomatina has been happening in the little town in Spain since 1944. No one knows for sure how the first tomato food fight started. But the tradition lives on, and every year thousands gather to throw tomatoes, listen to music, and enjoy themselves in the small, famous town of Bunol.


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