Wine Battle

 

 

The Wine Battle takes place in Haro every June 29, which is the feast day of San Pedro. It takes place at Los Riscos de Bilibio, which is located 6 km north of Haro. People go there walking or in cars, or you can go to the campsite where the town put on a load of free buses (highly recommended as its a bit of a trek otherwise).  People all dress traditionally in white with red neck scarf.  It consists of trying to wet other participants with red wine until everyone is soaked and no more white clothing can be seen.  This is a Fiesta of National Touristic Interest.

 

 

Felices de Bilibio (443-540 A.D.) was a saint who lived in Felices de Bilibio. After his death there were many pilgrims who visited the place. A hermitage was constructed there in the 18th century. It seems that in the 19th century there would be pilgrimages to this place and people would have lunch with a lot of wine. After lunch some jolly people would spray the wine at others, and this is how the festival was started.   

 

 

Today people dress in white and start going to Los Riscos de Bilibio at 7 am, carrying their red wine. They go in cars or carts pulled by tractors. At 8:30 there is a Mass at the hermitage. After this the official sets off a rocket to start the battle. People use bottles, water pistols, and other containers to throw red wine at the other participants.  It is strongly advised not to wear flip flops and take your own weapons and wine as you will be at a serious disadvantage to all the veterans who have all manner of things to soak you with (crop sprayers, water guns, massive gallon containers that they just dump over your head).   Maybe consider wearing goggles for eye protection as it can seriously sting when people are firing wine at you. 

 

After this the people go to have lunch. Later they go in procession back to Haro to Calle Navarra.