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A “Battle of the Oranges” in Italy

Submitted by on February 21, 2017 – 8:12 amNo Comment


Battle of Oranges, Ivrea, ItalyEvery year, the small town Ivrea, in the north of Italy, organizes a battle with oranges involving 500,000 kg of the citrus fruit.

This year’s dates are February 25 through 28, 2017 (yes, it’s part of the town’s annual Carnival celebrations), but the main event — the battle — takes place about 2 p.m. February 26, 2017.

Its roots date to Medieval times when Ivrea’s lord asserted his droit du seigneur with a miller’s daughter on the eve of her wedding — and she decapitated him with a sword.

After he was killed, the people of the town battled against the lord’s retainers — and this unusual battle is said to be held in remembrance of that fight. According to Wikipedia, “Originally beans were thrown, then apples. Later, in the 19th century, oranges came to represent the stones thrown at the king’s castle in order to demolish it. The origin of the tradition of throwing oranges is not well understood, particularly as oranges do not grow in the foothills of the Italian Alps and must be imported from Sicily.”

(Photo courtesy of Storico Carnevale Ivrea)

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