Thousands soaked in wine at Rioja festival1st July, 2014 by Lauren Eads
Up to 10,000 revellers descended on the Spanish town of Haro this week to soak each other in red wine in a colourful celebration of the patron Saint of San Pedro and the region’s famed Rioja wines.
The Haro Wine Festival takes place every year on 29 June in the town of Haro in the La Rioja region of northern Spain culminating in a gloriously messy Batalla de Vino, commonly known as the “wine fight”.
Thousands of visitors dressed in white travel to the town carrying as much red wine as they can before dousing each other in a colourful celebration of the town’s heritage.
Having been stained a deep red, visitors then make there way to the town square to enjoy a feast of wine and food.
The origins of the long-standing tradition are unknown, but it is said to have grown from an ongoing feud between locals over who owned what land for growing vines with the annual soaking taking place on the BiLibyan Crags where fights over contested land were said to take place.
Around 130,000 litres of wine is estimated to have been thrown during the tradition with up to 10,000 people taking part.