The tomato throwing festival, La Tomatina, made popular in India by Zoya Akhtar's Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, is billed as "the world's biggest food fight."
Spain's annual tomato throwing festival, La Tomatina, kicked off in the tiny town of Bunol on Wednesday. The iconic fiesta -- which celebrates its 72nd anniversary and is billed as "the world's biggest food fight" -- has become a major draw for foreigners. Many in India know the messy festival from Zoya Akhtar's Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.
Some 160 tonnes of ripe tomatoes were offloaded from trucks into a crowd of 22,000 people, about two-thirds of them foreigners.
Revellers, many wearing just bathing suits and goggles, bent down to pick up tomatoes from the ground to throw while others lay in the pulp.
The Tomatina started in 1945 when locals brawling in the street at a folk festival grabbed tomatoes from a greengrocer's stall and let loose.
Then in 2002, Spain's tourism secretary named the Tomatina a "festivity of international tourist interest" because of its popularity.
The Spanish town of Bunol, home to around 10,000 people, has since 2013 charged non-residents a participation fee to control the growing crowds who flock to the event.
The Tomatina has inspired similar celebrations in Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile and the United States.
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