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Strange Things the Spanish Like to Throw at Festivals

Aim, Fire!

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Everyone knows the Spanish like to throw tomatoes at each other - but that's not all. Check out all the weird, wonderful and downright disgusting things that get thrown around at Spanish festivals.

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1. Tomatoes

Image: Damian Corrigan

The most famous throwing festival in Spain. Every year thousands of people throw tonnes of squishy vegetables at each other in the name of 'tradition'. Yeah, right. It's because it's fun!

Where: Tomatina Tomato Fight in Buñol, Valencia.

When: End of August.

Evidence: Tomatina Tomato Fight

See also: Book a Tomatina Party Tour (book direct)

2. Wine

If Lanjaron has plenty of water, in La Rioja there is no shortage of wine. But, if truth be told, some of it is so bad that no-one really wants to drink it. So why not throw it at your neighbour, instead?

Where: Haro, La Rioja

When:

Evidence: Batalla del Vino on YouTube

See also: Book a Batalla del Vino Party Tour (book direct)

3. Flour

Image: Malabarista Lunar (Creative Commons)

December 28 in Spain is 'Dia de los Innocentes', the Spanish equivalent to April Fools' Day. Much of the japes that take place are similar to in other parts of the world, except in Ibi (near Alicante), where the locals mark the occasion with the Els Enfarinats festival, in which they throw flour at each other. I couldn't think of a better way.

Where: Ibi, Alicante.

When: December 28

Evidence:

  • Els Enfarinats
  • 4. Flowers

    The citizens of Valencia hit the pretty Falleras with flowers during the July Festival. Well, it's their fault for being so beautiful, right? Lou Reed would have been proud.

    Where: Valencia

    When: July

    Evidence: La Batalla de Flores

    5. Water

    They're a civilised lot in the Alpujarras. When they throw things at each other, it's clean. What's more, it's not as environmentally unfriendly as it sounds - the spa town of Lanjarón (where the fiesta takes place) has water in abundance.

    Where: Lanjaron, Granada.

    When: August

    Evidence: Els Enfarinats

    There is a similar event, called the Fiesta de Agua, in Villagarcia de Arousa.

    6. Paint, Oil and Anything Else That Will Stick

    Image: Teniente Castillo (Creative Commons)

    If wine and tomatoes don't have the staining capacity that you're looking for, how about paint and oil? The Cascamorras festival, where this barrage of abuse takes place, is all in the name of a statue that one town has and the other one wants.

    Where: Guadix and Baza

    When: September

    Evidence: Brief Cascamorras article, Cascamorras Official Site

    7. Ants

    If you thought the above festivals were strange, what about this weird carnival tradition? In the small town of Laza, Galicia, the locals let their hair down before the sobriety of Lent by throwing all manner of strange things at each other - and the strangest of strange projectiles is ants! But, like, I've seen Jungle Book, wouldn't they just crawl over your arm? How exactly do you throw an ant? Answers on a postcard.

    Where: Laza, Galicia.

    When: Carnival.

    Evidence: Profile of Laza, Galicia

    8. Battle of the Dead Rat

    Oh dear, can it get any worse? The Battle of the Dead Rat, in the Valencian town of El Puig takes things a little further than most people can stomach. During the fiesta of San Pedro Nolasco, again in the name of tradition, throw rats at each other. Come to think of it, I'm not sure what would be better, a dead rat or a live one.

    Where: El Puig, Valencia

    When: Unknown. Probably January (this is when the San Pedro Nolasco festival should take place.

    Evidence: El Puig Rat Throwing (Spanish only)

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