Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Do You Know About the Battle of the Oranges?

Near the end of the first week of February the town of Ivrea in northern Italy holds their annual “Battle of the Oranges.”

Nearly 70 of the thousands of revelers who came to a small town in northern Italy for a traditional fruit battle incurred citrus-induced concussions.

About 7,000 revelers visited the Italian town of Ivrea, which kicked off three days of annual carnival festivities with its traditional “Battle of the Oranges.”

Carnival goers throw oranges at each other - the main event in the town's festival. The tradition is believed to date back to the overthrow of a tyrant in the Middle Ages.  Dressed-up in medieval costumes, some of the participants apparently got a little carried away while pelting each other with the oranges that had been specially delivered for the occasion from Sicily. The tradition is deeply rooted in the distant past. It is believed to celebrate a 12th century uprising against the local tyrant whose demands whipped a crowd of residents into a fury, resulting in his beheading at the hands of a young woman, according to the legend.

Some 70 people eventually dropped out of the citrus melee with concussions. An additional 28 proved unable deal with the local mulled wine, including a 12-year-old boy who fell into a coma after consuming too much alcohol, local newspaper La Stampa reported. Looking on the bright side, the number of casualties this year is about half that of 2015, when it reached 142, La Stampa noted.

The city once marked the occasion with confetti and harmless beans, but in the 19th century the celebration escalated, with the holiday turning into a full-scale orange free-for-all. The tradition was revived when young women started throwing citrus fruit from their balconies to attract the attention of the town’s eligible men.

A ticket allowing you to get dressed as a medieval warrior and hurl weighty fruit at other people costs nearly $9. As many as 7,000 tickets were sold, organizers reported, adding that more than 16,000 people had watched the juiced-up frenzy from the sidelines.

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