In Pictures: Revellers paint Spanish town red in annual wine battle

The town of Haro staged the annual Wine Battle in Spain’s Rioja wine-growing region on Saturday.

Press Association
Last updated: 29 June 2019 - 3.42pm

Getting drenched with red wine might not be everyone’s idea of fun, but it is the idea behind one of Spain’s most popular — and unusual — fiestas.

The town of Haro staged the annual Wine Battle in Spain’s Rioja wine-growing region on Saturday.

Spain Wine Battle
Organisers say the aim is to ‘cover your neighbour in wine as quickly and completely as you can’ (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)
Spain Wine Battle
… by all means possible (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)
Spain Wine Battle
A reveller takes a wine shower (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

Organisers said the aim is to “cover your neighbour in wine as quickly and completely as you can”.

An early-morning Mass is held, and then participants throw wine over each other while music plays until the 18,500 gallons (70,000 litres) of free wine run out.

Spain Wine Battle
The festival draws mostly young visitors, from all around the world (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)
Spain Wine Battle
A woman is soaked to the skin (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)
Spain Wine Battle
Some revellers made sure they protected their eyes  (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

Those taking part must abide by some rules: they must wear white, with a red sash; they may use wine-filled water pistols, garden sprayers or buckets; and at no point during the battle can they stop laughing and singing.

Thousands of people come away from Haro’s vineyards and woodland soaked from head to toe.

Spain Wine Battle
Banging the drum for fun at Haro’s annual Wine Battle (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)
Spain Wine Battle
The rules allow the use of water pistols in the Wine Battle (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)
Spain Wine Battle
Revellers leave the event soaked in red wine (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

The event, which ends with a big lunch, is held to celebrate St Peter and the region’s plentiful wine output.

The festival draws mostly young visitors, from as far away as Australia.

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