Usually, Erasmus starts with an orientation week or welcoming ceremony for all of confused, excited and still shocked newcomers. However, for Valencian Erasmus students there is a priceless opportunity to start it in the most unconventional way and to decently say goodbye to summer holiday and simultaneously and warmly to embrace the beginning of one of the most valuable chapters in life.
A seventy-years-old festival LaTomatina is held in Buñol, the small town distant from Valencia about 40 minutes driving, every last Wednesday in August. On that day at one place, you can find the happiest faces, an outburst of stress and everything and everyone are drained in firstly tomato puree and finally tomato sauce, left after natural ''paintball'' battle, where the main rule is to use just red juicy capsules.
However, this eccentric occasion should begin in the same manner. The veggie fight starts and tomatoes explode at the moment when the most persistent venture grabs a ‘holy’ jamón from the top of a pole which is previously covered by soap! For one hour there are about ten trucks full of fresh tomato which weight approximately 150.000 kilos that end up on ‘dressed up’ facades of houses and on tops of participants’ heads and it seems like in cartoons when characters come out of the water with an octopus on tops of their heads. During La Tomatina ticks layers of tomatoes’ peel are there to remind of those scenes.
Some of interesting observations about this unique festival is that out of more or less 20.000 people, according to the newspapers The Telegraph, Asian and British visitors are the most numerous. Moreover, there is no age limit and the funniest thing is that older generations are enjoying it more than the youngest visitors! Five-years-old Jorge squeezed almost crying – ‘’I don’t like this at all, but my mum has a lot of fun over there!’’.
Besides, this whole gazpacho (traditional Spanish cold soup made of tomato) thing, details are those that colour this event into more colours than red and which give real charm to this popular veggie battle. Lost flip flops all around in slippery rush are a pretty common thing over there. What is more, people in different pairs of shoes are all around. The most prepared guests even attach, fix and save their pairs of shoes by duct tape!
After tomato bath where everyone is winners and when people dressed up completely in white clothes finish like tomato butchers, kind and welcoming locals go out of their yards with the same hoses by which they watered exactly those tomatoes that now they are cleaning from their guests. Everything covered by music, laugh and fun finishes and cleans all the mess like anything happened before!
Tickets and more details you can find just clicking here.