Spanish revel in mass tomato fight

Tomato fans have indulged in a manic free-for-all, throwing 100,000kg of the red stuff at each other in the world's messiest festival.

    The festival passed off in a red blur

    Around 30,000 people descended on the Spanish town of Bunol on Wednesday to throw the fruit at anything that moved.

    Residents and tourists joined in the fun and games as the fete passed off in an atmosphere of childish glee.

    After pasting each other for an hour, the revellers headed off in search of a river on the outskirts of town to scrub themselves clean.

    Massive clean-up

    Meanwhile, the fire brigade moved in to hose down the mess in the streets.

    Most nearby buildings got off lightly, however, having been prudently covered with canvas.

    To aid the clean-up, the municipal authorities set up 300 showers near the square and surrounding cobbled streets.

    "The Tomatina is just a fun event, where you can throw tomatoes in the street for an hour... while you forget all your cares"

    Fernando Giraldos
    Bunol mayor

     

    Organisers also ensured ambulances were on hand at the zany celebration which goes back to 1945 and has survived several attempts to ban it.

    Bunol mayor, Fernando Giraldos, braved the hail of soggy missiles to explain the point of all the amusement.

    Fun event

    "The Tomatina is just a fun event, where you can throw tomatoes in the street for an hour, alongside people of other nationalities, while you forget all your cares.

    "Next year we'll have worked on making it even better so the people will enjoy it even more," he said.

    The event has been recognised by Spain as a festival of international interest.

    Bunol lore suggests it goes back to the 1940s when residents splattered an old man of modest musical talent.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?