Thousands of litres of wine will cover the streets around Haro, a small town in Spain’s La Rioja wine region, this week but don’t panic – it’s in the name of fun. Celebrated on June 29th each year, the Battle of Wine (Batalla del Vino) is one of the world’s biggest food and drink fights. The origins of the festival are unclear, with the tradition thought to perhaps be tied to a 13th-century land dispute between Haro and the neighbouring town of Miranda de Ebro, which ended with a wine fight.
The event begins with a comparatively tame morning procession to the the Hermitage of San Felices de Bilibio, the patron saint of Haro. Participants dressed in white then make their way six kilometres outside of town to the Riscos de Bilibio hills for the fight. Trucks transport wine to the battle site and participants then use buckets, jugs and even water guns to cover each other’s white clothes in wine. After the fight subsides, the wine-covered revelers make their way back to Haro for dancing, feasting and drinking.
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