In 1945, during a parade of gigantes y cabezudos, young men who wanted to participate in the event staged a brawl in town's main square, the Plaza del Pueblo. Since there was a vegetable stand nearby, they picked up tomatoes and used them as weapons. The police had to intervene to break up the fight, and forced those responsible to pay the damages incurred.
The following year the young people repeated the fight on the same Wednesday of August, only this time they brought their own tomatoes from home. They were again dispersed by the police. After repeating this in subsequent years, the party was, albeit unofficially, established. In 1950, the town allowed the tomato hurl to take place, however the next year it was again stopped. A lot of young people were imprisoned but the Buñolresidents forced the authorities to let them go. The festival gained popularity with more and participants getting involved every year. After subsequent years it was banned again with threats of serious penalties. In the year 1957, some young people planned to celebrate "the tomato's funeral", with singers, musicians, and comedies. The main attraction however, was the coffin with a big tomato inside being carried around by youth and a band playing the funeral marches. Considering this popularity of the festival and the alarming demand, 1957 saw the festival becoming official with certain rules and restrictions. These rules have gone through a lot of modifications over the years.
Another important landmark in the history of this festival is the year 1975. From this year onwards, "Los Clavarios de San Luis Bertrán" (San Luis Bertrán is the patron of the town of Buñol ) organised the whole festival and brought in tomatoes which was being brought by the local people before this. Soon after this, in 1980, the town hall took the responsibility of organizing and making the festival big.
The city council follows a short list of instructions for the safety of the participants and the festival:
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Last Updated: 29 March 2021