La Tomatina


Reading — Advanced Level
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La Tomatina 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 take part in a parade with musicians, Giants and Big-Heads figures. The energy of jovialities caused one participant's Big-head to fall off. The participant flew into a fit of rage, began hitting everything in his path. There was a market stall of vegetables that fell victim to the fury of the crowd. People started to pelt each other with tomatoes until the local forces ended the fruit battle.

The following year, some young people engaged in a pre-planned quarrel and brought their own tomatoes from home. Although the local forces broke it up, this began the yearly tradition. In the following years, the young boys' example had unwittingly made history for thousands of people.

La Tomatina was banned in the early 50s, however this did not stop the participants who were arrested. But the people protested the prohibition and the festivity was again allowed with more participants and increased passions. 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. The protest was successful. La Tomatina Festival was finally permitted and became an official festival.

Usually, the fight lasts for about one hour, after which the town square is covered with tomato debris. Fire trucks then hose down the streets and participants often use hoses that locals provide to remove the tomatoes from their bodies. Some participants go to the “Los Peñones” pool to wash. The citric acid in the tomatoes leads to the washed surfaces in the town becoming very clean.

Source: Wikipedia
  1. La Tomatina was pioneered   by young pople many years ago.

  2. It has been traditionally celebrated during the   of the year.

  3. The festival was banned a few times yet people protested to have it back. This could mean that   .

  4. The main components that ignite excitement to the celebration are probably   .

  5. Since it involves a lot of participants, La Tomatina   during the recent pandemic.

  6. La Tomatina is generally a/an   celebration.


Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below

  1. What makes La Tomatina a tradition in Spain?

  2. Does your country have a similar celebration? If yes, what is it all about?

  3. What are the risks that events like La Tomatina pose to the participants? Why do you think so?


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