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The Carnival of Ivrea: Italians celebrate the 'Battle of the Oranges'

Updated : March 05, 2019 03:05 PM IST

Famous in all of Italy and, above all abroad is the Carnival in the Piedmontese town of Ivrea (Province of Turin). Established in 1808, the Carnival of Ivrea is one of the oldest and most particular festivals in the world.

It is the 'Battle of the Oranges' that re-evokes the civil war that broke out between the people of Ivrea and the Royal Napoleonic Troops the day after the murder of hated tyrant Raineri di Biandrate (it was the Mugnaia who slew him!).

The battle is made up of squads of aranceri or orange throwers on foot (representing the people) and defending their piazzas from those throwing the oranges (that represent arrows) from carts (representing the Napoleonic troops). Meanwhile, through the streets of the city, the Mugnaia and her cortège distribute sweets and presents to spectators. Then, the traditional procession through Ivrea’s streets includes floats, folkloristic and musical groups that come from all of Italy and all of Europe.

People wearing protective helmets and costumes throw and are hit by oranges as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. The traditional orange throwing battle has its roots in the middle of the XIXth century. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
People wearing protective helmets and costumes throw and are hit by oranges as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. The traditional orange throwing battle has its roots in the middle of the XIXth century. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
People in costumes throw oranges as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
People in costumes throw oranges as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
People wearing protective helmets and costumes throw and are hit by oranges as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
People wearing protective helmets and costumes throw and are hit by oranges as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Horses stand on oranges as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Horses stand on oranges as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
People wearing protective helmets and costumes throw and are hit by oranges as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
People wearing protective helmets and costumes throw and are hit by oranges as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Costumed revelers in protective helmets throw oranges during Carnival in the northern Italian Piedrevellersn of Ivrea, Italy, Monday, March 4, 2019. The Orange battle is a representation of the town's rebellion against the tyrant. It is played between the nine teams on foot, who represent the people who revolted, and the 'Aranceri' on horse drawn carriages, who play the role of the feudal armies. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Costumed revelers in protective helmets throw oranges during Carnival in the northern Italian Piedrevellersn of Ivrea, Italy, Monday, March 4, 2019. The Orange battle is a representation of the town's rebellion against the tyrant. It is played between the nine teams on foot, who represent the people who revolted, and the 'Aranceri' on horse drawn carriages, who play the role of the feudal armies. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
An orange hits a person wearing a protective helmet and costumes as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
An orange hits a person wearing a protective helmet and costumes as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019.  (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
The traditional orange throwing battle has its roots in the middle of the XIXth century. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
The traditional orange throwing battle has its roots in the middle of the XIXth century. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
People wearing protective helmets and costumes throw oranges as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
People wearing protective helmets and costumes throw oranges as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
The Orange battle is a representation of the town's rebellion against the tyrant. It is played between the nine teams on foot, who represent the people who revolted, and the 'Aranceri' on horse-drawn carriages, who play the role of the feudal armies.  (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
The Orange battle is a representation of the town's rebellion against the tyrant. It is played between the nine teams on foot, who represent the people who revolted, and the 'Aranceri' on horse-drawn carriages, who play the role of the feudal armies.  (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
People wearing protective helmets and costumes throw oranges as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
People wearing protective helmets and costumes throw oranges as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
The Orange battle is a representation of the town's rebellion against the tyrant. It is played between the nine teams on foot, who represent the people who revolted, and the 'Aranceri' on horse drawn carriages, who play the role of the feudal armies. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
The Orange battle is a representation of the town's rebellion against the tyrant. It is played between the nine teams on foot, who represent the people who revolted, and the 'Aranceri' on horse drawn carriages, who play the role of the feudal armies. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
As part of the battle, people wearing protective helmets and costumes throw and are hit by oranges in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
As part of the battle, people wearing protective helmets and costumes throw and are hit by oranges in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
A man shows his head where he wrote in Italian 'aims here', during an historical orange battle, in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Italy, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
A man shows his head where he wrote in Italian 'aims here', during an historical orange battle, in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Italy, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
A man gestures during an historical orange battle, in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Italy, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
A man gestures during an historical orange battle, in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Italy, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
A boy shouts while throwing oranges as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
A boy shouts while throwing oranges as part of Carnival celebrations in the northern Italian Piedmont town of Ivrea, Monday, March 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
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