La Batalla de Vino
In Spain they love their festivals. Sometimes it is about recreating mock battles and other times it is about local cuisine. Occasionally the local cuisine is a weapon in the mock battle. In the annual tomatina festival in Valencia, the artillery is the tomato. They hurl eggs and flour in a messy Pamplona festival. But the best of all might just be La Batalla de Vino, the wine battle, in the small town of Haro tucked away in Spain's premier wine growing region, La Rioja. Here participants get bombarded with the local wine. This Bacchanalian festival, is in honor of St. Peter. On the morning of June 29, the Feast Day of the Saint, thousands of people take to the nearby hills armed with plastics jugs, leather bags or whatever is handy and blast each other with wine until everyone is purple. This tradition seems to be based on a dispute over the ownership of these hills between Haro and the neighboring village of Miranda de Ebro. But today, the biggest battle prize is a treasured wine stained t-shirt.