Tens of thousands of festival-goers hurled 170 tonnes of over-ripe tomatoes at each other on 26 August, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the massive food fight in the small town of Bunol in eastern Spain.

Spaniards and tourists from around the world, some wearing goggles to protect their eyes from the flying fruit, crammed the narrow streets to smear each other with seven truckloads of squashed tomatoes. The party starts every year on the last Wednesday of August at 11.00am.

"It's crazy, like a massive orgy of tomatoes and people," said Evaran James, a 30-year-old from Australia. Houses and shops draped covers over their facades to protect them from the red juice and pulp.

"I didn't think it was possible to get more tomatoes on me, in my clothes, everywhere. It's been incredible," Amanda Braves from the United Kingdom said. She said she lives in Canada and travelled to Spain only to take part in the Tomatina fiesta.

Yoko Temo a Japanese student who currently lives in Spain said: "Very good, fabulous, but they have hit me with lots of tomatoes and my mouth was always full of tomatoes so I could not breath."

As every year, after the one-hour party, cleaning services made efforts to clear the streets from the huge soup of red sauce. Efforts include unblocking the streets sewers.

The event, banned for a time during the 1950s at the height of Francisco Franco's dictatorship, has drawn a huge international following in recent years similar to that of the running of the bulls in Pamplona every July.