MADRID, Spain -- Tens of thousands of people got pasted in eastern Spain on Wednesday in one of the country's most popular summer traditions -- the annual tomato-throwing festival.
Participants pelted each other with overripe tomatoes, turning the streets of the eastern Spanish town of Bunol into red, juicy pools in an annual festival known as "La Tomatina."
It is said to be the world's largest tomato battle. Last year, the crowd numbered around 38,000 -- more than four times the population of the Bunol.
Within minutes, the streets, the revelers and nearby buildings were splashed with red.
National radio reported that nearby residents protected their facades with plastic sheets. Others from balconies overlooking the fight dumped buckets of water onto the participants, RNE said.
The tomato fight often draws people from as far away as Japan and Australia.
The festival, held on the last Wednesday of every August, started in the 1940s when children began throwing their lunch at each other one day in a downtown square at a time when the region's tomato exports were starting to pick up.
They met again the following year, this time pelting passers-by as well and giving birth to the food fight.