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Photos: Spain’s La Tomatina festival returns after pandemic pause | Arts and Culture News


People from all over the world have been gluing tomatoes to each other as part of Spain’s famous La Tomatina event in the town of Buñol, eastern Spain, after a two-year suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Truckers unloaded 130 tonnes of ripe tomatoes along the town’s main street for the throngs of participants crammed below, leaving the area inundated with red pulp on Wednesday.

Up to 20,000 people paid 12 euros ($12) each to join the festival.

The streets of the town were closed and the revelers washed up within minutes of the hour-long noon battle.

The event, held on the last Wednesday of August every year, is inspired by a food war between local children in 1945 in the town, located in a tomato-producing region.

The media attention in the 1980s turned it into a national and international event, drawing participants from all over the world.

Local officials said they expected fewer foreign visitors this year mainly as concerns about COVID-19 continued in Asian countries.

Participants wear swimming goggles to protect their eyes while their clothing, typically T-shirts and shorts, is left with pulp.

Besides being the first battle since before the pandemic began in 2020 in Spain, this year’s celebration has the added impetus of celebrating the 75th anniversary of the event and 20 years since the festival was established in the West. Spain claims to be an international tourist attraction.



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