La Tomatina is a unique festival celebrated in the Spanish town of Bunol using tomatoes. The area is particularly renowned for tomato production and the excess produce is used for a game where participants throw them at one another. Strict rules govern the game such as the rule on tomatoes needing to be squashed before being thrown in order to avoid injuries. Participants cannot throw anything else apart from tomatoes during the contest.
Popular media through cinema and books has popularized this event to the extent that versions of La Tomatina are celebrated in other parts of the globe as well. Cultural or linguistic boundaries no longer prevent La Tomatina being played out in Colombia, Costa Rica, the American states of Nevada, Wisconsin and Texas as well as in China’s Guangdong province. Modified versions have even been held in India where La Tomatina resembles the historical festival of Holi.
This year, La Tomatina is set to be held 31st of August. This is as per ritual which dictates that the festival is held on the last Wednesday of August every year. Not only does this time bring great joy and revelry to the local people, it is also a great source of revenue through tourism. Scores of people visit this otherwise small town to view the spectacle of La Tomatina each year.