Nothing says camaraderie and togetherness like a well-planned meal and nothing is more fun than picking up that well-planned meal and throwing it at someone.
The appeal of the food fight is universal. Spain has the famously epic tomato fight La Tomatina. Greece has "Clean Monday," when people pelt each other with white powder. Italy gets in on the food flinging action before every lent with truckloads of oranges. The messier the better, these festivals celebrate food in its simplest form: projectile.
Food fights teach us to embrace each other by transcending propriety and fastidious. The next time you go to Thanksgiving dinner at your uptight in-laws, don't be afraid to have a little fun at an otherwise lifeless event. Fling a cranberry at the kid's table.
Consumption is supposed to be fun. Why waste time going through the motions?
Every year, on the last Wednesday of August, the small Spanish town of Buño sees an influx of 20,000--40,000 tourists who come to participate in one of the world's largest, messiest food fights: La Tomatina. After one dedicated soul makes it to the top of a two-story greased pole in order to drop down a ham (don't ask, we don't know), a gun fires and all the tens of thousands of participants lunge for the loads of tomatoes that are trucked in and everyone and everything in sight is pummeled for an hour by a reported 125 tons of squashed tomatoes. Related: Where to Find the Best Paella in Spain Photo Credit: © Wikimedia Commons/Graham McLellan
40 days before Lent, the little town of Ivrea, north of Turin in Italy, holds a symbolic rehashing of an insurrection against the Holy Roman Empire that occurred in 1194. So what do they do? Why, they don medieval costumes and take to the streets to hurl oranges at one another, of course. This re-enactment always ends with the common folks coming out sticky but victorious. But everyone who plays really wins since filling a town's streets with enough oranges to come up to your knees equals fun no matter how you squeeze it. Related: Food and the Palio in Siena, Italy Photo Credit: © Wikimedia Commons/Gio
The first day of Orthodox Lent, known as Clean Monday, doesn't quite live up to its moniker in Galaxidi, Greece, where revelers celebrate the holiday by dirtying it up. With handfuls of dyed flour, residents and visitors pelt each other in what has come to be known as the Flour War. Right around Fat Tuesday, the celebration has parallels with Mardis Gras, so might we suggest baking a king cake? Related: 8 Enticing Destinations for Empty-Nesters Photo Credit: © Flickr/SleEEpinGBeaUty
In Thailand, the locals celebrate the start of the Thai New Year by taking to the streets for a week of water-soaked battles where almost no one is safe from water balloons, the firing of water pistols, and the simple but effective bucket dumped overhead. During Songkran -- what natives call the festival -- pedestrians are a favorite target, which happens to coincide with Thailand's hottest season. This means walking down the searing streets doesn't have to be so bad... as long you don't mind getting cool via a water balloon hurled at you by a stranger. Related: World's Messiest Food Festivals Photo Credit: © Lim CK
Shemozzle: Yiddish for a confused situation. Ex: "I haven't seen a shemozzle like this since cousin David's shiksa girlfriend showed up to Yom Kippur with a menorah and a ham." But in New Zealand? There, the word refers to a zany obstacle course and most famously the Shepherds' Shemozzle in the town of Hunterville during its Huntaway Festival. Here, participants and their dog companions sloppily run a cross country course while eating strange foods like raw eggs, sheep's eye and cream, and huhu bugs with cold cooking oil. Huhu bug: New Zealand's largest native beetle, known to bite when threatened. Ex: "I haven't seen a shemozzle like this since baby Ahu tried to eat a huhu and it bit him and gave him a booboo. Little Blighter!" Related: Most Bizarre State Foods Photo Credit: © shemozzle.co.nz
Using 15 tons of less-than-choice specimens from the town's most important crop, residents of Sutamarchan, Colombia make their smaller version of Spain's La Tomatina just as fun by spreading it over three days of tomato-launching antics that the kids can get involved in, too. Related: World's Weirdest Food-Sporting Events Photo Credit: © Flickr/www.feargahlonuallain.ie
Violet! You're turning violet, Violet! What began as a real, Medieval dispute over a mountain range between neighboring towns has since evolved into Batalla del Vino, a raucous celebration of wine and hospitality in the Rioja region of Spain. On St. Pedro's Day, June 29th, locals and visitors alike descend on Halo wearing all white clothes and a red bandana in order to deluge each other with gallon after gallon of the area's famous red wine until everyone is tipsy and has turned a succulent shade of purple. Related: 10 Unique Wine Tasting Experiences Photo Credit: © Wikimedia Commons/BigSus
After the Christmas merriment comes to an end, the good people of Manitou, Colorado like to keep the celebrations going. Every first Saturday of January, the town holds the Great Fruitcake Toss to see who can throw, catapult, shoot, or generally heave a fruitcake the farthest. Prizes go to competitors in multiple events, which include tossing, launching, and hurling. Related: America's Best Amusement Park Food Photo Credit: © Flickr/andrea nguyen
- Josh Gardner
More from The Daily Meal:
Epic Food Fight Videos
Weirdest Food Sporting Events
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Foods You Can't Bring into the US (Plus Treats You Should)
10 "Taste of" Cities Across America
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