Spain’s tomato war attracts 40,000
More than 40,000 Spaniards and tourists threw tomatoes at one another in La Tomatina on Wednesday.28 August 2008
VALENCIA -- More than 40,000 Spaniards and tourists Wednesday bombarded one another with tomatoes at Spain’s ultimate food fight, La Tomatina.
Six lorries dumped 115 tons of tomatoes in the centre of the eastern town of Bunol, the host to the annual food fight which started in 1945.
The one-hour battle momentarily got out of hand, with some of the "warriors" hurling tomatoes not only at one another, but also at people watching from their balconies. A Japanese tourist was injured in the head.
The only weapons allowed are squashed tomatoes, but some participants wore goggles and bathing caps, while others shielded themselves with rackets or sported wigs or hats made of watermelons to add to the fun.
After the vegetable war, armies of cleaners moved in to remove the tomato mush from the streets and walls, while participants washed themselves in a nearby river.
Bunol spent EUR 90,000 to finance the event, which is believed to have originated when a scuffle broke out between youths and vegetable stalls were overturned.
Local authorities initially tried to ban the La Tomatina which is held on the last Wednesday of August, but it has become such a success that the town is planning to improve access roads to help more tourists get in. Participants come from as far as Australia, the United States and Russia.
[dpa / Expatica]
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