Each year, thousands of people in the town of Ivrea in northern Italy have one of the largest food fights on the planet during the Battle of the Oranges. Part of the city’s annual Carnival celebrations, origins of the tradition are somewhat unclear, but it’s believed to have originated by the townspeople’s revolt against their tyrant during the 12th or 13th century. As the story goes, the tyrant was looking to exercise his power and attempted to rape a girl on the eve of her wedding, but the young woman instead decapitated the tyrant, and the townspeople stormed and burned the palace. Today, the story is loosely reenacted: an actress is chosen each year to play the part of the young woman, and organized teams on foot (representing the rebels) and in carts (representing authority figures) duke it out in the streets. The weapon of choice has morphed over the years from stones to beans to apples to oranges, a good choice considering the former options.
The video above by Andry Verga sheds light on just how epic the battle becomes. This year, the Battle of the Oranges will take place on the weekend of February 9 and 10. It’s just one of the more than 60 events on our list of events worth planning a trip around in 2013.