Image: Tomatina tomato fight
Fernando Bustamante  /  AP
Each year thousands of people gather to hurl truckloads of tomatoes at each other. Local lore says the yearly tradition began in the mid-1940s with a food battle that broke out between youngsters near a vegetable stand on the town square in Bunol, Spain.
updated 8/27/2008 3:59:25 PM ET 2008-08-27T19:59:25

Spanish revelers have pelted each other with 113 tons of ripe tomatoes in an annual food fight.

Town hall says an estimated 40,000 people took part in the hour of messy fun in the village of Bunol near Valencia.

The ritual dates back to the 1940s.

Some warriors in Wednesday's battle wore swimming goggles to protect themselves from the acid sting of projectiles in the form of pear-shaped tomatoes. Others swatted them away with tennis rackets.

Afterward, many washed off in a nearby river while crews hosed down a town painted red.

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