22nd February 2020

In_pictures In pictures: The battle of the oranges

In_pictures In pictures: The battle of the oranges

In_pictures

in_pictures Gathering in the main squareImage copyright
Andrea Capello

Once a year, in the run-up to Shrove Tuesday, the citizens of the old medieval town of Ivrea, in Italy, gather in the main square to hurl oranges at each other.

As the town prepares to celebrate once more, we look at the pictures by photographer Andrea Capello who documented the event last year.

The origin of the so-called Battle of the Oranges dates back to medieval times and is said to commemorate the day the townsfolk were liberated from the harsh rule of an evil duke.

The legend goes that the miller’s daughter, Violetta, cut off the duke’s head when he tried to claim his right to sleep with young brides on their wedding night. This led the town to rise up and burn down the duke’s castle.

The battle represents the struggle between the supporters of the duke and those of Violetta.

in_pictures The band of Pipers and DrummersImage copyright
Andrea Capello

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The band of pipers and drummers leads the parades through the square.

in_pictures Violetta, the main character of the carnival,Image copyright
Andrea Capello

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Each year, a married woman is chosen to play the part of Violetta.

in_pictures The battle ragesImage copyright
Andrea Capello

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The Battle of the Oranges is fought for three days leading up to Shrove Tuesday.

in_pictures Oranges are thrownImage copyright
Andrea Capello

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The throwers on carts head into the town square, battling against those on foot.

in_pictures A member of the orange thrower team of Tuchini del BorghettoImage copyright
ANDREA CAPELLO

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A member of the orange-thrower team of Tuchini del Borghetto shows passion and dedication to the cause.

in_pictures Throwing oranges from a cartImage copyright
Andrea Capello

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It’s a messy business with hits celebrated on both sides.

in_pictures Carnival is a tradition, it's the history of a community and everything that holds this city togetherImage copyright
Andrea Capello

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But after the battle there is a chance for those on both sides to enjoy tales of the fight.

in_pictures Bruised shoulderImage copyright
Andrea Capello

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There are injuries.

in_pictures A man with an injured noseImage copyright
Andrea Capello

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Some are bloody but unbowed.

in_pictures Over 700 tons of oranges are used during the battleImage copyright
Andrea Capello

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More than 700 tonnes of oranges are used during the battle.

in_pictures After the battle, everything that is collectedImage copyright
Andrea Capello

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After the battle, everything is collected and taken to a recycling centre.

All photographs courtesy Andrea Capello.

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