August 25, 2015 11:14 PM EDT

Once every year, for about an hour on the last Wednesday of August, thousands of people descend on the town of Buñol in eastern Spain to pelt each other with tomatoes as part of La Tomatina festival.

The small Spanish municipality isn’t the only place being pelted with tomatoes, however — today’s Google Doodle has joined in on the act to celebrate the 70th anniversary of what is widely considered the world’s largest food fight.


The festival first began in 1945, when a man was pushed off a float during the town’s annual parade. In a fit of rage, he picked up tomatoes from a nearby vegetable stall and began throwing them at everyone in sight. A group of people repeated the act the following year, and although authorities tried to clamp down on the tomato-throwing initially, it became an official festival in 1957.

The Google Doodle, created by Nate Swinehart, features an animated depiction of the revelry that about 50,000 people are expected to engage in on Wednesday — including the ham hoisted on top of a pole that must traditionally be untied and brought down before a single tomato can be thrown.

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Write to Rishi Iyengar at

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