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Carnival of Ivrea in Italy | The battle of oranges

In carnival rhythms moves the ancient city of Ivrea, in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy organizing this year a singular battle of oranges. From 2 to 4 March 2014, the central square of the city flooded by thousands of locals and tourists flying to one another, about 500,000 oranges. The story more or less is known. The poor villagers protesting against the oppressive ruler. In the Carnival of Ivrea, however, the battle is not conducted with guns and swords, but with oranges.

Orange Battle, Ivrea Carnival, Italy

Orange Battle, Ivrea Carnival, Italy

The legend says that sometime between the 12th and 13th century, the ruler of Ivrea tried to rape his daughter Miller on the eve of her wedding, making use of its power. In a twist of fate, the plan failed and the young woman, beheaded him. With a bold stroke of the sword, freed the city from oppression. The people of the town fought against the Lord guards on horseback.

Orange Battle, Ivrea Carnival, Italy

Orange Battle, Ivrea Carnival, Italy

Today, this struggle between the classes represented by the followers of Lord, standing on carts jester wearing clothes and from ordinary people who wear sports uniforms. The miller’s daughter, Violetta, a woman dressed in white with a red wig, throwing yellow flowers and candy to her fans.

Orange Battle, Ivrea Carnival, Italy

Orange Battle, Ivrea Carnival, Italy

Oranges represent the head of the tyrannical ruler but the modern celebration has evolved into a kind of flirting that make local girls, throwing oranges from their balconies to attract that which they are interested. If the feeling is mutual, the boys would respond by throwing an orange from their own balcony. Unlike the La Tomatina in Spain, the battle with the oranges are highly structured, with rich history and contains some elements of competition.

Orange Battle, Ivrea Carnival, Italy

Orange Battle, Ivrea Carnival, Italy

It is a free and fun show for the approximately 100,000 spectators who attend, but for the nine competing groups of 4,000 people is a serious case and the highlight of the year.

View more here: Annual Festival of Elephants in Jaipur.

By Nicole P.

Carnival of Ivrea photos: Gio-S.p.o.t.s., parviz tajdari, Vincent Besanceney.

About Nicole Papadimitriou

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