The traditional orange fight of Ivrea preserves an ancient tradition that started in the middle of the 19 century as an inspiration of a similar event that took place in the Middle-Ages. In the orange fight the celebrators throw juicy fresh oranges on one another. According to the local history, in the Middle-Ages, beans were thrown by the participants in the street fights. Twice a year, the feudal lord used to donate a pot with beans to the poor tenants families.
The handout was very humiliated as the beans were thrown on the ground so the poor had no choice but to collect it one by one. In the 30th of the 19 century, the beans were replaced by the oranges. The custom of oranges’ throwing began by the city girls, who threw flowers, confetti and oddly enough also oranges (!!) on the convey coaches that participated in the festive parades.
Their goal was to attract the attention of the boys, but they shoot back and threw the oranges at the girls, so a strange unique fight was developed. After WW2, the orange fight became a part of a comic contest with rules, winners and losers. Due to the numerous visitors during the festival days and the high demand for accommodations it is recommended to check hotel rates and book rooms well in advance.
The orange fights which are held all over the city color the place in orange. In every square you can find a “natural” place were those who do not take part in the fight can watch it safely.
The events of Ivrea’s carnival are similar to those of the tomatoes throwing, La Tomatina, that is held in the summer in Bunyol Spain.
This is an exciting winter event. Do not miss.