If you think La Tomatina is a crazy festival, then you haven’t been a part of the annual Spanish wine festival yet! If you are planning a visit to Spain in June, then do take the time to visit Haro in Northern Spain, to catch the La Batalla Del Vino festival. This wine festival lasts for approximately three hours on the 29th of June each year. The festival stems from a property dispute during the medieval era. This dispute occurred approximately 300 years ago in Miranda de Ebro, a neighboring town. Although the history of this festival is around 300 years old, the battle has only gained its popularity with tourists in recent years.
The festival is held on San Pedro’s day to recognize Haro’s patron saint. Participants dress in white and come armed with wine-filled Spanish Bota Bags (a wine sack or sorts). Many participants also wear goggles to protect their eyes (which is highly recommended). We recommend leaving the camera at home, but if you can’t live without it, then make sure it is waterproof!
Over the period of the festival, people battle it out with approximately 40,000 liters of red wine. They throw wine at each other using bota bags, squirt guns, buckets, and anything else they can find. The point is to throw the wine until every person in your sights is completely drenched.
The festival begins at the top of the mount Bilibio, and after a few hours the battle retreats to the center of town. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the battle actually begins on the night of the 28th of June. The night before a big party is thrown in which the whole town participates. Everyone comes out to enjoy the pre-celebration in the streets, town squares, or the bars. Some even forgo sleep and party all the way to the mountain for the beginning of the real festival the next morning.
If you are planning a summer Europe Tour, then take a detour to Haro and be a part of this unforgettable Spanish wine battle. Just jump into the wine drenched masses and you will get the hang of it. If your clothes are white, then you won’t escape the wine drenching. If you want to remain clean, then steer away from the locals. They know how to fight the battle perfectly and will demonstrate their perfection.
Candice represents TravAddict.com, and loves to visit Spain. She has visited many of Spain’s traditional annual festivals