Adventures at Matheran Hill Station
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Matheran is a Hill Station located near Mumbai, Karjat.   It is located 800 meters above sea level in the Jambol Forest of Maharashtra.  It was found by Hugh Poynts Malet in May 1850.  It spreads over an area of 8 square kilometers in Sahyadri Mountains.  It is one of the best places to spend a two-day holiday if you are in Mumbai or in the vicinity of Mumbai or its suburbs.  To reach Matheran,  [...]

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La Tomatina

Posted on August 18, 2010 | Festivals5 Comments

It is the last Wednesday in August that marks a bloodbath unlike any other. At least it looks like blood from afar, but upon closer inspection you find out that it is nothing more than the remains of a tomato that is no more (may it rest…in pieces). It’s like I’m in some odd Hollywood film set, the red gunk overflowing everywhere, but what it really is an orgy of tomatoes like you’ve never seen it. It’s messy, it’s unapologetically tomato-ey and it’s a big ticket for tourism, Buñol, 40 km due west of Valencia, finds its population swelling four fold come this time of year, and its carnage and good-mannered fighting packaged in the form of a festival.

La Tomatina festival Spain

The madness hits the town’s central square and no sooner does the clock strike the 11th hour of the day than a large pole is hoisted, and there’s nothing extraordinary about the pole itself. Except for the fact that it is ham skewered on one end of it, and perhaps it is the lure of free ham or immortality that draws in men like piranha’s during happy hour, and they all struggle and thrash as they try to take it down. Someone inevitably achieves this, and it is the signal of the festivals commencement; a rocket is lit and it meets its fiery end up in the sky but before it can even vanish into nothingness, tens of metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes find their way off of the waiting trucks into the arms of the crowd and for one hour, it is a maddening free for all where anarchy descends.

La Tomatina Spain Bunol

Being ground to a pulp is what people do to one another here, and expect to be washed down by the water cannons of the local fire brigade once a second rocket goes off, signaling the end of happy hour. The tomatoes stop flying, and the craziness is dialed down a couple of million notches. But what kicked this off? Theories abound, some involving politicians such as Franco or mere food fights but whichever way you look at it, once started there was no stopping it and it has remained with Buñol forever. You can say that this tomato festival never got canned. Hah!

The festival is now dedicated to the Mare de Déu dels Desemparats (Mother of God of the Defenceless…how ironic). The celbrations are maddening and week long and includes parades and music and, of course, Paella. The tomatoes are supplied freely, but it is not the only thing bruised by the end of the hour as warriors both vegetable and human take a real beating.

La Tomatina

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  • anna says:

    Sounds crazy and gross to me…

  • Christine says:

    Ohhh this festival is so much Like holi played by Indians!!! I had been to India in march and witnessed the craziness just like this…the only difference there is instead of tomatoes people throw water balloons and vegetable colors on one each other…

  • Marshal says:

    These people are potential employs for the ketchup company… only if they would smack tomatoes in natty way…

  • Ted says:

    If only i were working for some NGO i would say what a waste of food…but what the hell!!!i have witnessed this madness and trust me evry tomato is worth the fun…

  • seem@ says:

    I have experienced the “LA TOMATINA” festival held in Spain last year when i had given a visit to Bunol city..its the largest food fight festival..its a week long festival celebrated with parades,music and fireworks…the tomato fight commences when someone brings down a ham that is placed on a large greasy pole..its really exciting to see people fighting for ham….the tomato fight serves as the culmination of this week long event…
    You may find this wierd or jst some crap but i bet you’ll enjoy this festive jive…you’ll have a boisterous experince once you enter the red pool of tomatoes in the street…it was really a mesmerizing experience for me enjoyed a lot.. :) :)

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