La Tomatina’s origins start way back in 1945 – on the last Wednesday of August some young people spent the time in the town square to attend the Giants and Big-Heads figures parade. The boys decided to get involved, one then fell off the float. Enraged he grabbed what was available and started throwing tomatoes which caused a bit of a food fight. Naturally the police broke it up.
The following year, the boys brought their own tomatoes, but once again the police broke things up.
This was a common story until 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 and it was totally successful. La Tomatina Festival was finally allowed and became an official festivity.
Ever since the numbers have been increasing the festival gained popularity until in 2013 it is estimate 40-50,000 people attended which for the small town of Buñol was too much. A ticketing system has now been introduced which limits the number of participants to just 20,000.