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10 Most Passionate Kisses From La Tomatina

Spain's famous tomato carnival La Tomatina, among other things, is known for some dirty kissing. During the course of this article, we will not only have a look at some of the most passionate kisses from the festival but we will also try to explore the history and trivia associated with the craze of La Tomatina.

Spain has a long tradition of art, culture and architecture. It is known for its scenic beauty, native varieties of wine, Mediterranean beaches, siesta-loving people, Flamenco music and dance, and mouthwatering food. But two things that are ubiquitously associated with Spain are La Tomatina and Bullfighting. Of these two spectacles, it is the former that solely belongs to Spain, for the latter is also associated with countries like Portugal, France as well as some Latin American countries.

10 Most Passionate Kisses From La Tomatina

10 Most Passionate Kisses From La Tomatina

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  in History & Culture

Dirty Kissing

Dirty Kissing

The Valencian city of Buñol is the home to La Tomatina. For the uninitiated, La Tomatina is a food fight festival held on the last Wednesday of August every year. The tradition dates back to 1944 or 1945. Although, no one is completely certain about the origins of the Tomatina festival there are various theories speculating as to what may have led to its inception.

Gentle Kissing

Gentle Kissing

According to one popular theory, during one of the town festivities the councilmen were attacked by the disgruntled residents with tomatoes. Other theories talk about a class war between juveniles, a food fight among friends, pelting of a bad musician, a bombardment of tomatoes at a carnival parade by the bystanders, and the aftermath of an accidental lorry spillage. Whatever may have trigger started the Tomatina tradition, the sheer experience of it must have been so enthralling that it became an annual feature. The holiday was banned by Francisco Franco for being religiously insignificant but returned with a bang in the 1970s after his demise.

Tender Kissing 

Tender Kissing 

Starting with the year 1975, San Luis Bertrán, the patron of the town of Buñol, started organizing the whole festival including making arrangements for the huge quantities of tomatoes, which were previously been brought by the masses. The number of participants increased significantly with each year. In 2013 the officials decided to put ticketing in place to limit the number of participants to just 20,000 people. Prior to 2013 overcrowding became a major issue for the small town of Buñol with as many as 50,000 people (more than five times as much as its own population) showing up for the highly anticipated tomato fight.

Wet Kissing

Wet Kissing

Starting with the year 1975, San Luis Bertrán, the patron of the town of Buñol, started organizing the whole festival including making arrangements for the huge quantities of tomatoes, which were previously been brought by the masses. The number of participants increased significantly with each year. In 2013 the officials decided to put ticketing in place to limit the number of participants to just 20,000 people. Prior to 2013 overcrowding became a major issue for the small town of Buñol with as many as 50,000 people (more than five times as much as its own population) showing up for the highly anticipated tomato fight.

Kissing and Hugging 

Kissing and Hugging 

The tradition of pelting bad performers with veggies is quite an old one. Throwing of rotten tomatoes at theatre actors goes back to the Elizabethan era. It is often believed that the performers at Shakespeare's Globe Theater were often at the receiving end of the tomato menace during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603)-a period often described as the golden age in English history. But as per the information available on Globe Theatre website, tomatoes weren't even available in England at that time. But the site does acknowledge that when the audiences were dissatisfied by certain performances they did throw things at the actors, but not tomatoes.

Kiss and Let Kiss

Kiss and Let Kiss

The first recorded instance of a live performer being hit by a tomato is that of a rookie actor named John Ritchie who was struck by a tomato right between his eyes while he was trying to perform a trapeze act in Hempstead, Long Island, New York. The incident was reported by the New York Times on October 28, 1883. As one would expect, the poor fellow vowed never to perform again in Hempstead. In the contemporary times, throwing tomatoes is seen as a sign of protest. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) famously used tomatoes as weapons in its fight against fur. Even the Dutch Socialist party has adopted the tomato as its symbol. Historically, the political party is infamous for throwing tomatoes at political opponents.

Kisses of Passion

Kisses of Passion

However, today when someone talks about tomato pelting, La Tomatina immediately comes to mind. Yes, La Tomatina is the world's largest food fight. But it is not just about the tomato fights. The week leading up to the tomato carnival witnesses parades, fireworks, and paella cooking contests. While the actual tomato fight lasts merely  an hour, the tomato carnage ends up consuming as many as 1,50,000 tomatoes , weighing about a whopping  40 metric tons, in the short span of time. But, it must be noted that the tomatoes used for the fight are over-ripe and inferior in taste as well as quality.

Kiss Me If You Can

Kiss Me If You Can

Interestingly, the tomato fight begins with a slice of ham being hung on a two-storey high greasy wooden pole at exactly 10 O'Clock in the morning on the last Wednesday of August. For the fight to begin, this piece of ham must first be retrieved by someone. All this time the crowd begins to go berserk in anticipation. As soon as the slice is dropped from the pole, trucks packed with tomatoes arrive at the venue. This marks the beginning of the colorful tomato slugfest. The local shopkeepers usually use huge plastic sheets to cover their shop fronts from the seemingly endless tomato menace.

Kiss Kiss Faster Faster

Kiss Kiss Faster Faster

Couples from all across the world come to Buñol to be a part of the La Tomatina festivities. But since Buñol is a small town with limited accommodation, couples often take the easier option of staying in the neighboring Valencia, which is just 38 Km from Buñol and well connected by bus and train. By the time the tomato carnage gets over the whole town square is covered with tomato paste. The streets are then hosed down by the fire trucks. The participants usually use the hoses provides by the locals to wash off the tomato paste from their bodies. Others go to the pool of Los Peñones to clean themselves.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

It is quite common for the couples to get cozy and romantic during the hour-long, exhausting tomato fight. The couples seem to love the chaos La Tomatina fight brings in their lives as amidst this madness one learns to appreciate the company of one's partner more than ever. As the passions begin to run wild the lovers can be seen embracing each other with a newfound affection and love. They kiss and cuddle and in the process let go of the inner tension and frustration.

You may also like: World's 15 quirky yet famous festivals to catch before you die

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