Tomato throwing festival returns in Spain after Covid break

La Tomatina, the tomato throwing festival in Bunol near Valencia in Spain, has returned after two years missed due to Coronavirus. Overripe and low-quality tomatoes are thrown as they are not good enough to be eaten. Six trucks loaded with 130 tonnes of tomatoes drove through the Spanish town.

The tradition is thought to originate from a spontaneous tomato fight in 1945. It was banned under General Franco's dictatorship but returned in the 1980s and is now popular with locals and people from around the world alike. Access is now limited to 22,000 people and anyone who wants to get covered in tomato juice has to buy a ticket.

Spanish newspaper El Pais reports that this was the first time in several years that the number of Spanish attendees outnumbered those from abroad. The tomato throwing lasts for around an hour before the streets are hosed down. Some people on Twitter criticised the festival for wasting food at a time when many people are struggling with the cost of living crisis.

However, the organisers say that the tomatoes thrown are not good enough quality to be eaten.