• Spain's news in English
 

Spain's Tomatina festival 2013: Top photos

Published: 28 Aug 2013 17:36 GMT+02:00

Defying sheets of rain and stormy skies, masses of tomato-stained people from around the world -- led by Australians, Japanese and Britons - engaged in battle in the Plaza Mayor square of Buñol, eastern Spain.

Many wore shower caps under the rain and goggles to protect their eyes from the acidic juice of the tomatoes, which must be squashed before they are hurled at fellow participants. Some people dressed as tomatoes.

In driving rain, some people who had partied through the night were singing, clapping and still taking swigs of wine and sangria directly from the bottle.

Check out the best photos from Spain's La Tomatina festival 2013.

"It is one of the most famous festivals in western Europe and it is safer than running with a bull," said 22-year-old Brad Fisher from Sydney, who came with a tour group of 700 people wearing a mustard-coloured shirt with a ketchup logo.

The Tomatina has significant advantages over Spain's Pamplona bull-running festival, he explained.

"One hundred and thirty tonnes of tomatoes is a lot but it's still better than a 500-kilo bull."

This year, for the first time, participants are paying a minimum of €10($13).

Prices go up to €750 to get up on one of the six trucks bringing in the tomatoes.

Some 5,000 free tickets have been set aside for Buñol residents.

Organizers have cut the number of participants by half citing safety concerns, recruiting 180 safety officials, 50 private security, police, nine ambulances, and several medical helicopters.

Buñol Mayor Joaquin Masmano Palmer says the new fee helped organizers to control crowd numbers but he has also admitted that the food fight, which has cost €140,000 to stage this year, represents a heavy burden for a town with a debt of €4.1 million.

For the first time, a private company, SpainTastic, has been charged with selling entry tickets to the Tomatina, sparking concern that recession-hit Spain's town festivals may be on the path to privatization.

Among the top ticket buyers were Australians with 19.2 percent of the total, Japanese with 17.9 percent, Britons with 11.2 percent, Spaniards with 7.8 percent and Americans with 7.5 percent.

About 60 percent of the tickets went to people aged 18 to 35. The oldest was 82.

Tomatina T-shirts, caps and coffee mugs are on sale, too.

Japanese tourist Keiko Jinhouchi, 28, said she was spending a week in Barcelona with two friends from Tokyo and they decided to enter the fray.

"It's my first time in Spain, we're here for the day. Because it's fun," she said.

Fellow Japanese Kohei Onizaki, equipped with swimming goggles, had a tomato painted on one cheek and a Japanese flag on the other.

"There is a very famous TV show in Japan where a famous person joins this festival. It's a very famous festival," he explained.

Though the origins of the event are unclear, it is thought to have its roots in a food fight between children during a parade in the mid-1940s.

It has grown in size as international press coverage has brought more and more people to the festival.

After the fight, many of the revellers traditionally head to the local river to wash off the pulp. In this year's rain, that may not be necessary.

Check out the best photos from Spain's La Tomatina festival 2013.

The Local/AFP (news@thelocal.es)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
My Spanish Career
'It's queso manchego that has kept me here'
Lance Tooks has written whole works in Madrid bars

'It's queso manchego that has kept me here'

In the latest installment of My Spanish Career, The Local meets Lance Tooks, a writer and illustrator of graphic novels and a resident of Madrid's Barrio de Las Letras who is keeping the storytelling tradition alive. READ  

Spain's Eurovision song, 'Daybreak' released
Photo: Flickr/YourWayMagazine

Spain's Eurovision song, 'Daybreak' released

Spain's national public broadcaster has released the much anticipated song, Amanecer (Daybreak), which will be sung by Edurne in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. READ  

Could 2015 be the year of the smartwatch?
The new Huawei's device "Talkband B2", shown during a press conference in Barcelona on March 1st, the eve of the 2015 Mobile World Congress opening.Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

Could 2015 be the year of the smartwatch?

Defying scepticism and geek-stigma, mobile phone firms are determined this year to sell you a wristwatch wirelessly connected to your mobile phone. READ  

Rajoy hits back at Greek PM in austerity row
Mariano Rajoy speaking at a PP rally on Sunday. Photo: Cristina Quicle / AFP

Rajoy hits back at Greek PM in austerity row

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Sunday called on his Greek counterpart to get "serious" about his country's debt-wracked economy, after Alexis Tsipras accused eurozone partners of undermining its negotiations with Brussels. READ  

Barça close in on Madrid at top of La Liga
Photo: Jorge Guerrero / AFP

Barça close in on Madrid at top of La Liga

Barcelona moved to within a point of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga as Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi were on target in a 3-1 win at Granada on Saturday. READ  

Bailed-out Spanish bank reports profits jump
Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Bailed-out Spanish bank reports profits jump

Bailed-out Spanish financial giant Bankia announced Saturday an 83 percent jump in its 2014 net profits to €747 million, though the group remains under investigation for an ill-fated 2011 stock listing. READ  

Catalonia prepares ahead of independence vote
Photo: AFP

Catalonia prepares ahead of independence vote

The wealthy Catalonia region is strengthening its tax office and expanding its network of foreign missions in defiance of the central government, as it prepares for possible secession from Spain. READ  

Spain's anti-austerity party opens books
Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Spain's anti-austerity party opens books

Podemos, the new anti-austerity party that is leading Spanish opinion polls, published its accounts Friday in a fresh bid to show that it is not financed by foreign governments. READ  

Prime time TV brought forward - to 10.15pm

Prime time TV brought forward - to 10.15pm

Spanish national broadcaster, RTVE, has announced it is bringing forward its prime time slot to 10.15pm, allowing Spaniards to get to bed earlier. READ  

Podemos gives up EU seats to run at home
Pablo Iglesias at a rally in Madrid on Wednesday. Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Podemos gives up EU seats to run at home

Podemos, the new anti-establishment party in Spain, has said it will replace its European members of parliament so that its leaders can run in elections at home. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Brooms up! Quidditch casts its spell over Spain
Society
Ten phrases you'll only hear at work in Spain
International
Spanish crowned world's happiest language
National
Eight cool things the crisis did for Spain
National
There is joy in learning something new yourself'
Travel
Top Ten: Spain's best beaches for 2015
National
Euro property bargains up for grabs in Spain
What's On
Spain's craziest carnivals
National
Spanish town fights 'Fifty Shades' bondage hotel
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
International
Vinnie Jones teaches Spanish in hilarious ad
What's On
Ten golden rules for snagging a Spanish man
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
National
Are these Spain's most romantic couples ever?
Property
House sales up for first year since crisis began
Gallery
The highs and lows of the Spanish property market
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
National
The five strangest things about Spaniards
Society
Bizarre Spanish fashions you shouldn't try at home
What's On
Top Spanish director to open Berlin Film Festival
National
Young and old, rich and poor join left-wing march
What's On
What's on in Spain: February 2015
International
Spain planned to invade Australia in 1790s
National
Spanish jobseekers fail exam with answers
National
Moving to Spain: a guide for beginners
National
Spain's new penal code: key talking points
International
Spain among Europe's cheapest nations: study
Features
Top ten surprising Spanish inventions
National
Court to study paternity suit against ex-king
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
National
Top ten: must-know Spanish superstitions
International
'Change Schengen rules to catch Islamists': Spain
What's On
Ten ways to spice up your Spanish life in 2015
Health
Spain tops world organ donation rankings
National
5 things no one tells you about renting in Spain
National
'No Pants Subway Ride' hits Madrid Metro
National
Spain's satirical mags back Charlie Hebdo
National
Finally: a Spanish PM bothers to visit Andorra
National
Woman fined for being kissed while driving
Travel
Top travel highlights in Spain for 2015
National
Gallery: Hits and misses of Antonio Banderas
National
Spain's top news in 2015: The Local's predictions
National
Spain's public holidays in 2015: Official list
National
Christmas fireball lights up Spanish skies
National
Top ten: Spain's biggest stories of 2014
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

603
jobs available