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La Tomatina When?

La Tomatina takes place

Buñol, España on the last Wednesday
of August
The sunny Mediterranean city of Valencia in Spain is world-renowned for Factoids
its tasty and succulent oranges. And just thirty miles away is Buñol, - There is no political or
another town just as famous for its produce. But its notoriety comes from religious significance to
the locals' habit of wearing the produce as well as tasting it: every year, La Tomatina, it's just
Buñol hosts La Tomatina, the world's largest vegetable fight. Situated good, messy fun.
only 30 kilometers inland from the Mediterranean Sea, and well-
connected by motorway and - Participants who show
rail to Madrid and Valencia, up from around the
this charming town erupts world: 20,000
into a fiery blaze of tomato-
hurling on the last - Number of tomatoes
Wednesday of every August. used: 150,000 ...that's
The batalla (“battle”) takes over 90,000 pounds of
place during a week-long tomatoes!
celebration filled with on-
going festivities and with even greater anticipation for the monstrous - Former Vice President
tomato battle that serves as the culmination of the week's events. Dan Quayle's plural of
tomato: tomatos
Without question the biggest tomato fight in the world, La Tomatina
started with a good laugh. During the forties, in Buñol's main town -Correct plural of
square, a number of friends started a tomato fight for unknown reasons. tomato: tomatoes.
It's unclear whether the initial volley was aimed at city officials or simply
pedestrians unlucky enough to be in the line of fire. Soon enough, - Buckets of water are
however, with their rowdy hooliganism drawing passers-by into the fray, thrown at the crowds
everyone was having a great time. They had so much fun, in fact, that first by the fight
from that day forward, the fiesta has been celebrated annually and has instigators in the tomato
grown ever bigger each year. trucks, as a
foreshadowing of the
In an effort to draw more tourism (and therefore more targets) into the veggie barrage to come.
small town of Buñol, La Tomatina has blossomed into a full-blown fiesta
(“party”) that coincides with the festival for the town's patron saint. For a - After the battle, you
week leading up to the epic battle, the 20,000-strong town of Buñol, is can hose off the splatter
filled with parades, fireworks, food and street on the riverbank, where
parties. The night before La Tomatina, the the town slaps together
narrow streets beneath the town's imposing makeshift public
Medieval bell tower are filled with tomatoes, showers.
in a much more palatable form than they will
be the next day! Cauldrons of delectable - Every year, the fight is
paella (a Spanish seafood stew), simmered nationally televised by
over wood-burning fires, line the Concurso des the most prestigious
agencies in Spain.
Paellas, a street near the Plaza del Pueblo. Wine and food flow around the small town until the wee

Then, early Wednesday morning, shopkeepers and business owners along the Plaza set about covering
windows and doors in preparation for the messy onslaught. Large trucks rumble up the cobblestone
streets to arrive in the crowd-filled square and, from the back of the huge trucks, official instigators
begin ceremoniously pelting the awaiting throng with their precious cargo: sloppy, squishy tomatoes
trucked in from the four corners of Spain.

Dressed in clothing doomed for the rubbish bin, more than 20,000 people retaliate against the truckers,
each other and anything else that strays within range of their hand-crushed veggie blobs. Soon the
streets are awash in seeds, pulp and tomato guts - possibly one of the best starts to a great marinara
sauce to be found west of Italy.
The insanity ensues until more than 90,000 pounds of tomatoes have been hurled at anything with a
pulse that ducks, runs, stops, turns about, or fights back. For visiting tourists, be aware that anyone
with a camera or a baseball cap will be considered a prime target. Like all good battles, the assault is
over in less than half an hour. Everyone then reconciles with their former targets and fellow warriors
and heads down to the river to remove the saucy mess from hair and body.

Source: http://www.donquijote.org/culture/spain/fiestas/tomatina.asp
Do not write on this paper. Record all answers on the answer


Antes de Leer – Answer these questions in complete sentences BEFORE you read the article.

1. When you read the word tomatina what vegetable comes to mind?

2. Think of a festival that takes place in your city or neighborhood. What is it like? What events
are there? Is there food?

3. Have you ever been involved in a food fight? How did it start? Was it fun? What were the
consequences of the food fight? If you’ve never been in a food fight, do you think it would be
fun to be involved in one?

4. Based on the word tomatina and the questions above, what do you think the article you are
going to read will be about?

Después de Leer - Read the article carefully, and then answer the questions that follow.

5. Write a brief summary of what La Tomatina is.

6. What item is thrown at spectators during La Tomatina?

7. When does La Tomatina take place each year?

8. What country and city does La Tomatina take place in?

9. Describe the significance of La Tomatina. Is it a religious or political festival?

10. How and when did La Tomatina get started?

11. How many people participate in La Tomatina?

12. How many tomatoes are used during La Tomatina? How many pounds of tomatoes are used?

13. How long does the celebration last for?

14. Describe the type of person in the crowd who would be most likely to have a tomato thrown at
him or her.

15. What happens the night before La Tomatina?

16. What happens Wednesday morning in preparation for the fight?

17. How long does the actual fight last for?
18. Where does everyone go after the tomato fight to clean up?

19. Would you want to participate in La Tomatina, why or why not?

20.Is La Tomatina wasteful? Do you think this festival should continue, why or why not?

21. Think of American festivals that use food (i.e. pie eating contests, hot dog eating contests, etc.)
Do you also think these festivals are wasteful? How are they similar or different from La
22. If the town of Buñol still wanted to have a Tomato festival every year, but didn’t want to be as
wasteful, what could be some alternatives to throwing tomatoes?

23.What do you think the positive impact of La Tomatina is on the economy of Buñol? Is there a
negative economic impact?
La Tomatina Crossword

4. __________________ is the city where La Tomatina takes place each year.
5. __________________ is the day of the week when La Tomatina takes place (translate to Spanish)
7. ________________ is a Spanish seafood stew.
10. Buñol is situated only 30 kilometers inland from the _________________ Sea.
12. Buckets of _______________ are poured on the participants before the tomatoes are thrown
13. __________________ is the month when La Tomatina takes place (translate to Spanish)
14. La Tomatina originated in this decade: ______________.
15. The night before La Tomatina, the narrow streets beneath the town's imposing ______________
bell tower are filled with tomatoes
1. The seafood stew is served near the _____________ des Paellas, a street near the Plaza del Pueblo.
2. La _____________ is the name of the famous vegetable-throwing festival (do not include La)
3. Using a _______________ or wearing a baseball cap will make you an easy target for the tomato-
throwing mob.
6. Following the fight everyone heads down to the _______________ to clean off the tomato juice.
8. ________________ is the Spanish word for battle.
9. Every year the fight is nationally _______________ so people all around Spain can watch it.
11. _____________________ is the correct plural, English spelling of tomato.
Answer Sheet
Nombre __________________ Fecha __________________ Hora _______

Write all answers below. This paper due at the end of class.


Antes de Leer – Answer these questions in complete sentences BEFORE you read the article.

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Después de Leer - Read the article carefully, and then answer the questions that follow.

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