MADRID, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- On the last Wednesday of August every year the streets of the town of Bunol run red as shouts and screams fill the air.
But don't worry, they run red with the juice of the thousands of tomatoes which are thrown in the traditional "Tomatina" festival that takes place in this locality close to Valencia.
The first official Tomatina took place in 1957 and it has not looked back from then, being transformed from a local event into one which attracts visitors from all over the world.
The 2013 event has seen some changes as the risk of overcrowding along with the need to raise much needed revenue in crisis hit Spain. The number of participants has been limited to 20,000: 5,000 locals and 15,000 outsiders, who all have to pay a 10-euro fee to take part.
At 11 a.m. local time, lorries carrying an estimated 150,000 tomatoes brought in especially from the region of Extemadura arrive in the city square and that is the moment the Tomatina begins in earnest.
The only rule is that the tomatoes have to be squashed so as not to cause damages to anyone or anything they hit, and for an hour, juicy, red battle takes place with tomatoes thrown left, right and center, respecting nobody until a shot into the air signals the end of the festivities.
All the revelers have to do then is clean themselves up, washing the seeds, juice and tomato skins off their clothes, while the local fire brigade hose down the streets.
It does not take long, and by early afternoon Bunol is actually cleaner than before the Tomatina began: that is because the slight acidity of tomatoes disinfects the streets. This does not mean, however, that bathing in tomato juice is ever going to become fashionable, well at least not until next year.