The Orange Throwing Festival
Once a year, at the base of the Italian Alps in the ancient Medieval town of Ivrea, a peculiar battle takes place commemorating what was once a 12th century skirmish where the malicious, tyrannical rulers were overthrown by the commoners.
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The Orange Throwing Festival
Once a year, at the base of the Italian Alps in the ancient Medieval town of Ivrea, a peculiar battle takes place. Commemorating what was once a 12th century skirmish where the malicious, tyrannical rulers were overthrown by the commoners. The battle exists between the revellers on carriages (representing of the tyrants’ guards) and thousands of townsfolk. They are divided into nine different combat teams. However, instead of swords and arrows, the battle is reenacted with 500,000 pounds of flying citrus… Ivrea Orange Battle Festival.
If you’re more into throwing tomatoes, maybe La Tomatina is your taste.
You’ve read it correctly: the town of Ivrea celebrates their liberation by throwing (with a considerable amount of ferocity) half a million pounds of oranges at each other, marking this novel event to be the largest food fight in all of Italy. The orange battle is from March 2-5, 2019.
Participate In the Orange Battle Festival
Participants must wage with real zest, as they do get injured; it is not uncommon to see cheery black eyes and smiling swollen lips throughout the festivities.
By Stand The Orange Battle
For those not wishing to partake in the battle, but rather spectate, there are two options: to watch by hiding behind nets draped around the buildings (the safest option), or, for a more adventurous twist, one can brave the battle field and watch the chaos while being in the midst of it (with this option, the likelihood of being hit by an orange is extremely high).
The Ivrea Orange Festival Tradition
Although, it isn’t all a treacherous battle; the Mugnaia (the miller’s daughter), along with her cortège, ride around gifting sweets and presents to the spectators. Afterwards, the tradition continues throughout the streets with parading floats, and traveling musical and folkloristic groups.
The final day of the festival, Fat Tuesday, is marked by the burning of a scarlo, a pole covered in heather and juniper bushes, where everyone gathers to cheer loudly and hope that the scarlo burns as quickly as possible, for quick burning means good luck for the coming year.
The Ivrea Orange Battle Festival will color the streets of Ivrea orange for 3 consecutive days. In 2018 it will begin on February 10 and end on February 13th.
If you’re looking for sun, wine, and a grape battle, see the Festa des Vermar
Being the convergence of urban warfare and a massive food fight, The Ivrea Orange Festival may just be one of the most unique cultural festivities you ever experience. Celebrate the end of winter, the rise of spring, and a beautiful Medieval town’s uproaring revolution by dressing up, taking a stance, throwing oranges, singing songs, enjoying delicious food, gathering around a fire, slipping on citrus covered streets, smiling too hard, and ultimately having the time of your life.