Not a fan of the tomato? No problem, because this festival is not about eating, but throwing the juicy red vegetables. Welcome to La Tomatina, Spain's annual tomato fight.
La Tomatina began as a food fight among local youngsters, in the small town of Bunol, Spain in the mid 1940's. Since then, it has evolved into one of Spain's most popular and anticipated festivals, which lasts for an entire week and culminates with this popular tomato fight.
Held on the last Wednesday of August every year, the festival is marked by parades, fireworks and street parties. On Tuesday, the night prior to the tomato fight, the streets are lined with large pans of tomato 'Paella' (a traditional Spanish rice dish), simmering on wood-burning fires. Tourists and locals alike, gather and enjoy the good food and drinks until the wee hours of the morning.
On the day of the big morning, business owners in the downtown region scramble to cover their storefronts with tarps before the messy fight starts - then the fun begins.
At about 10.am a rocket is hurled and officials traveling in trucks, start to throw bags of tomatos to the eagerly waiting crowds. After that, it's free for all.
The tired but exhilarated crowd still dripping and slipping over the red juices that covered the streets of Bunol, headed over to the river or makeshift hose showers to rinse off and go home for a much deserved lunch and siesta, . . . . . . . And start the count down to the next La Tomatina!