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Battaglia delle Arance

Submitted by on February 17, 2014 – 8:36 amNo Comment

italy_ivrea_aranceSometimes food is a weapon rather than sustenance. That definition prevails in Ivrea, Italy, for its Battaglia delle Arance — Battle of the Oranges.

Yes, participants pelt each other with oranges. (It’s supposed to be a team event, but if you’re in range, watch out.)

It’s said to have originated in the 12th Century when the townspeople revolted against the local landowner, pelting his troops with stones. Fast forward a few centuries and the re-enactment becomes part of Ivrea’s pre-Lenten carnival celebration.

Operating under actual rules (“don’t throw oranges at the horses”), nine teams totalling more than 3,500 people (mostly male) pelt each other with more than a million pounds of oranges over three days: this year, it’s March 2 through 4, 2014.

(Photo courtesy of Historic Carnival of Ivrea Foundation)

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