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Playing ketchup in Spain - thousands wage the Tomatina fight

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Playing ketchup in Spain - thousands wage the Tomatina fight
A reveller plays with tomato pulp during the annual "Tomatina" festival in Bunol, near Valencia, Spain, August 29, 2018. REUTERS/Heino Kalis   -   Copyright  Heino Kalis(Reuters)
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BUNOL, Spain (Reuters) – Thousands of revellers hurled tonnes of tomatoes at each other on Wednesday, cavorting in the red pulp beneath their feet in the Spanish town of Bunol.

Organisers of the annual Tomatina festival tossed 145 tonnes of over-ripe tomatoes into the crowd from six large trucks, quickly converting the town into a sea of pink and red.

Some revellers wore goggles to protect their eyes and some buildings were draped with tarpaulin to preserve their walls, while others got soaked with the pulp, creating a scene worthy of a modern art painting.

The Tomatina is said to have originated from a spontaneous bust-up amongst villagers in 1945.

It was banned for a while during the 1950s at the height of General Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, but survived to gain popularity across Spain in the 1980s and today draws large crowds of visitors from abroad as well as Spaniards.

The town hall distributed more than 20,000 tickets to the festival this year.

(Reporting by Guillermo Martinez and Juan Medina; Writing by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Alison Williams)

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