SEEING RED! 22,000 revellers prepare for Spain’s La Tomatina festival

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LA TOMATINA: Fruit flinging fun in Buñol. Photo credit: Shutterstock

ONE of the strangest of all annual Spanish festivals takes place on Wednesday, August 29, 2018.

La Tomatina in Buñol will this year see 22,000 paying revellers throw an estimated 150,000 tomatoes at each other during the fruit-flinging event.

Held as part of week-long village festivities the event has been declared a Festival of International Tourist Interest.

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The event began in 1945 when fighting youths in the village square threw tomatoes at each other from a nearby vegetable stall before police broke up the fight. For several subsequent years they repeated it, bringing their own tomatoes and eventually – after at one time being banned – the tradition was established with rules.

The town hall in the Valencian village took over the organisation in 1980, with tomatoes being squashed before throwing to avoid injuries.

Once the start of the mid-morning fight is given, tomato-laden lorries enter the village centre and exactly one hour later the fighting ends.

Fire engines hose down the streets and revellers use hoses that locals provide to remove the tomato paste from their bodies.

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