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08/29/2012 01:28 pm ET | Updated Aug 29, 2012

Tomatina 2012: Spain Tomato-Throwing Festival Kicks Off (PHOTOS)

At first glance, this may look like a grisly scene out of Count Dracula’s daydreams. But look further and you will see, perhaps with a sigh of relief, that the mushy sea of red is actually La Tomatina -- the world’s biggest tomato fight annually held in the eastern Spanish city of Buñol.

The festival kicked off on Wednesday with around 35,000 participants donning shorts, goggles and umbrellas hurling some 120 tons of ripe tomatoes at each other in the Mediterranean town.

La Tomatina officially started in the 1950s, but its origins reportedly date back to a brawl in 1945, in which young men started grabbing tomatoes off a nearby vegetable stand and throwing them at each other.

Check out the slideshow below for stunning photos from the festival:

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