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October 30, 2020

Painting the town red: La Tomatina festival

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Thousands of revelers hurled tomatoes at each other, cavorting in the red pulp beneath their feet in the Spanish town of Bunol.

Organisers of the annual Tomatina festival tossed 145 tonnes of over-ripe tomatoes into the crowd from six large trucks, quickly converting the town into a sea of pink and red.

Revellers throw tomatoes during the annual “La Tomatina” food fight festival in Bunol, near Valencia, Spain. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters


The festival’s rules state only tomatoes may be thrown and they must be squashed beforehand. Photograph: Heino Kalis/Reuters

The Tomatina is said to have originated from a spontaneous bust-up amongst villagers in 1945. It was banned for a while during the 1950s at the height of General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, but survived to gain popularity across Spain in the 1980s and today draws large crowds of visitors from abroad as well as Spaniards. Photograph: Borja B Hojas/Getty Images

The event, which costs 12 euros (Rs 953) for a basic ticket, was inspired by a food fight between local children in 1945 in the tomato-producing region. Photograph: Heino Kalis/Reuters

Attendees are only partly visible amid all the tomato pulp. Photograph: Borja B Hojas/Getty Images

A couple share a tender moment amid the tomato pulp and all the chaos. Photograph: Borja B Hojas/Getty Images

The festival, which is billed as the world’s biggest food fight, has become a major draw for tourists. Photograph: Borja B Hojas/Getty Images

A tourist poses for a photo before she’s pulped during the Tomatina festival. Photograph: Borja B Hojas/Getty Images

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