Fun in the Sun
People in Spain love to have fun just like you. One thing they do involves 150,000 pounds of tomatoes! Keep reading to learn more.
Every year, Spain has a tomato war! People from all around the world travel to the small town of Buñol for a week-long festival called “La Tomatina.” There are parades, fireworks, music, good food and, of course, tomato throwing.
Shopkeepers cover their storefronts with plastic while trucks bring 120,000 pounds of tomatoes into the plaza.
The throwing lasts for one hour. When the final siren sounds, the party keeps on going as everyone pitches in to clean up the mess.
Firetrucks are brought in to hose everything down after the big event. Amazingly, the town is even cleaner after the tomato war because the acid in the tomato helps to break down the dirt and make everything clean.
Cesta Punta or Jai-Alai (pronounced high-lie), as it is known in the USA, is a dangerous, high-speed game of handball played in southern Spain and in other parts of the world. It is called the world’s fastest game because the ball can move at speeds up to 188 miles per hour.
Eight teams of two players alternate to catch and throw a pelota to win points. A pelota is a hardball (harder than a golf ball) that is smaller than a baseball and is made of Brazilian rubber and covered in two goat skins.
Each pelatori (player) wears a cesta (special hand-woven basket) on their right hand.
The cancha (court) is twice the size of a basketball court and has three walls. The front wall is made of hard granite, because it can take the impact of the hardball without breaking. There are also walls behind and to the left of the players. The audience sits on the right side behind a net for their protection.
When the pelota is thrown against the front wall it sounds like a gunshot. Pelotas are often replaced every 15-20 minutes because of their impact at high speeds. Each pelota can cost around $100, because they are handmade.
The basic rules are simple and are like racquetball. The first pelatori (player) serves the pelota against the front wall. The other player tries to catch it either in the air or after one bounce. If they cannot catch it, the server gets a point. The first team to score seven or nine points wins the match and then they move on to play the next team. Play continues until one team wins the final match.
Kids in Spain love to play games just like you. One game they play is called chapas, or the bottle cap game.
Chapas is played with metal bottle caps and a race track drawn on the ground. The race track is usually a curvy line.
Often before the race, kids will decorate their chapas by tracing the bottle cap onto paper and decorating the circle. After they cut out the circle, they fit it inside the bottle cap. It’s almost like personalizing your own race car.
Players then take turns flicking their bottle caps to stay on the track. If you accidentally flick your bottle cap off the track, you lose a turn and must return to your previous position on the track. If you flick your bottle cap into another racer, they must start over.
The first person to flick their bottle cap across the finish line is the winner.
Grammy's Recipes: Empanadillas
Spaniards like to go out to have tapas (appetizers) before dinner especially on weekends. Empanadillas are a popular tapa. They can be filled with all types of ingredients, but the most typical is tuna and tomato. Follow the directions below to make your own empanadillas with your parent's help.
· 1 package of phyllo dough
· 1 can tuna, drained
· 1/2 cup tomato sauce
1. Follow the directions on the box of phyllo dough. 2. Layer 5 sheets of phyllo dough and brush each sheet with olive oil or melted butter. 3. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out 6 circles. 4. Mix the tuna and the tomato sauce together. 5. Put one tablespoon of the mix in the middle of each cutout. 6. Fold each one over. Use a fork to seal the open side. 7. Put them in the oven to bake at 325° for 15 minutes or until brown.
Puzzle: Spanish Time Match
Match the letter of the time to the Spanish
activities. You will not use all of the letters.
1. Traditional lunch time ___
2. Time siesta begins ___
3. Spaniards’ snack time ___
4. Time kids go to bed during the summer ___
5. Dinner time ___
6. School day starts ___
A.) 11:00 p.m.
B.) 3:00 p.m.
C.) 9:00 p.m.
D.) 2:00 p.m.
E.) 12:00 a.m.
F.) 7:00 a.m.
G.) 5:00 p.m.
H.) 9:00 a.m.
I.) 12:00 p.m.
Puzzle: Spanish Survival Search
Can you find the 10 Spanish words hidden below?
(Hint: Check the Survival Spanish section)
Puzzle: Spain Scrambled Locations
Unscramble each of the clue words to find places you can visit in Spain.
A R C A Y N = an island for the birds
L A M H A R B A = known as the red fort
A N O P M A L P = home of bull running
D I M D A R = a capital city
I R Y M P A S D = six steps in Guimar
B A A R I T L R G = 15 "strait" kms.
D A E Q U C U T = Roman water carrier
R A A B M L = la street of fame
N U E G I H G M G E = fish-shaped
E A C T U = Spanish- African city
Puzzle: LA Tomatina, the Maze
Find your way to la tomatina, the tomato festival. Start in the top left corner, and make your way to the bottom right corner of the maze. Hurry, the festival has already started.