Italy's Battle of Oranges Fest Great Time to Pelt Each Other With Fruit

Published March 5th, 2019 - 06:00 GMT
The annual Battle of the Oranges has taken place in Italy. (AFP/ File)
The annual Battle of the Oranges has taken place in Italy. (AFP/ File)

The annual Battle of the Oranges has taken place in Italy with teams pelting each other with fruit during the three-day festival.

The tradition's origins are unclear but it is believed it dates back centuries.

Hundreds of people attend the event in Ivrea, a town in northern Italy near Turin.

It supposedly commemorates a 12th century uprising with oranges representing the head of their enemy.

According to legend, the town's evil lord attempted to rape a miller's daughter named Violetta on the eve of her wedding.

She then cut off his head and presented it to the townspeople who were then freed from the evil tyrant.

They stormed his castle and set fire to it.

Another version of the tradition's origin tells of the town's poor were given pots of beans by the feudal lords.

They threw the beans on the floor in protest at the miserly gesture and over time the beans were swapped for oranges.

The festival takes place every year on the days leading up to Shrove Tuesday.

A girl from Ivrea is chosen to play the part of Violetta and many wear traditional costumes.

People are divided into nine teams: the Ace of Spades, Death's Aranceri, Revolutionaries of the Borough, The Chess, Black Panther, Arduino's Scorpions, The Devils, The Mercenaries, and the Credendari.

The orange throwers wear the traditional colours of their team while they defend their designated turf in the piazzas.

There are 46 horse-drawn carts going around the town, each with castle defenders inside with helmets and pads.

These are the targets for the thousands of throwers representing the uprising townspeople.

Judges announce the best team at the end of the festival followed by a procession.

More than a million oranges from southern Italy and Sicily are used in the festival that would have otherwise been thrown away.

This article has been adapted from its original source.  

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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