La Tomatina

Tomatoes in the air at Tomatina Festival.Revelers covered in tomatos at Tomatina Festival.

From a Reuters story in ChinaDaily:

At noon [Wednesday], municipal trucks dumped about 130 tons of ripe, juicy plum tomatoes at the feet of adrenaline-charged crowds in town’s main square. Within minutes the area was covered in red slime, and clouds of tomato sauce filled the air.

It all takes place in Buñol, in Spain’s Valencia region along the Mediterranean coast.{#db86d958-934e-4fa3-a9b5-be64ad559819} describes the origins:

Local lore says it began in the mid-1940s with a food battle that broke out between youngsters near a vegetable stand on the town square in Buñol, 300 kilometres southeast of Madrid. The next year, they met again, this time pelting passers-by.

A Reuters story on Yahoo! News reports the city spent nearly 25,000 Euros for the over 100 tons of vitamin C and fiber rich edible missiles. According to Expatica, participants fortified themselves with wine and cakes provided by city hall, then “went into battle dressed in white and came out all in red sixty minutes later.” For some, the “joyous splattering” led to participants “rubbing their barely clad, pulp-slathered bodies against each other.”

This is even better than the running of the bulls in Pamplona,“ said Australian Sandy Koch, 25, referring to another one of Spain’s famous events.