It sounds strange, but there are several places on earth where once a year some food products are used off-label, but become participants in various competitions.
Orange battle / La battaglia delle arance
Location: Ivrea city, Piedmont region, Turin province, Italy
When passes: Fat Tuesday of Lent
On the last Sunday before Lent, a three-day spring festival begins, culminating in the Battle of the Oranges. According to the legend of the 12th century, the daughter of a local miller named Violetta stabbed the duke, who wanted to exercise his right to the first wedding night. But when the guards came for the proud girl, the townspeople threw stones at them, not allowing them to grab Violetta.
In the modern version, it looks like this. Trucks with local students, dressed in medieval armor and helmets, appear on the square, and 9 orange teams throw oranges at them. The winner is determined by a special commission.
Spectators can watch by wearing red hats, which prohibit throwing oranges both to them and in them, or by changing them to orange ones, they can also take part in the battle.
Hundreds of people, after a merry battle, go to doctors with bruises and concussions, since this is not at all a harmless occupation.
When everything is over, they jointly remove the area from the broken “shells”. Then “Violetta” rides in the carriage, for the role of which the most beautiful girl is chosen, and presents the participants and spectators with mimosas and sweets. In conclusion, words are spoken, unchanged for more than two centuries: “See you next Fat Thursday. Time is 1 pm. “
Tomatina / La Batallа del Tomate
Location: Buñol, Valencia province, Spain
When passes: last Wednesday of August
Takes place as part of the local carnival with fireworks and free food, lasting 3 days, and is its final act. It all began in 1945, when local residents pelted each other with vegetables near the market. The next year, the scuffle was repeated, and so from year to year, through natural selection, they began to throw only tomatoes that day.
In the context of tomato, another product performs adversarial functions, albeit more modest. Before the battle, a post smeared with soap with a piece of ham on top is erected in the city square. Whoever gets it gets the prize.
In 1959, the authorities tried to cancel this holiday, but they managed to establish only a number of rules that the event follows to this day:
The battle begins at exactly 11 o’clock with a firecracker clap and ends with a second clap exactly one hour later. But even during this time, the merry crowd manages to scatter up to 150 tons of tomatoes, and the streets of the city are covered ankle-deep with red tomato thickets.
Before throwing, the tomato must be slightly crushed so that it does not cause injury, and do not use anything other than tomatoes for throwing. Showcases and windows of nearby buildings are covered with special plastic shields, and it is better to wear clothes that you will not mind throwing away afterwards. It is worth bringing a can of clean water with you to wash off the tomato juice.
For the right to the first throw, you need to pay 790 euros, ordinary participants buy a personalized ticket for 10 euros.
Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake
Location: Brockworth village near Gloucester, England
When passes: last Monday in May
On this day, at the top of the Cooper Hill, which is located near the village, for 2 centuries, those who want to catch a piece of cheese have been gathering, which is let down the steep slope, 200 m long.
This is an unsafe occupation, and during the rain it becomes completely extreme, because overclocked cheese can reach a speed of 110 km / h. Participants in pursuit of him fall, somersault, sometimes crashing into the crowd of watching spectators along the way. Therefore, during the competition, ambulances are always on duty at the foot of the hill, as well as special people who catch those who cannot stop themselves.
In order to avoid injury, the authorities have taken measures since 2010 to close the spectacle and even once imposed a contribution of £ 20, which caused popular outrage. And not only from the locals, because this race today attracts many spectators and participants from all over the world, a 27-year-old American and a 39-year-old Japanese have already become its winners. And more recently, women can take part in the competition.
Rumor has it that instead of real cheese, they now use plastic, weighing only 3.5-5 kg, whereas earlier they let an 18-kilogram head of Gloucester cheese down the slope, for which it was really worth risking your neck. However, today those who came second and third receive cash prizes.
Egg roll / Easter egg roll
Location: White House, Washington, USA
When passes: first Monday after Easter
This tradition began in 1878, and since then, on the lawn in front of the White House, children from all over the world, in the presence of the President of the United States, roll Easter eggs using scoops. After that, the first lady arranges a festive Easter dinner for all participants.
This echoes the Russian tradition of rolling colored eggs on Krasnaya Gorka the next Sunday after Easter. If there was no hill next to the settlement, then they simply leaned a hollowed out or some other groove against a block of wood, and let the eggs down along it. The point was for the player’s rolling egg to touch those on the ground – then he took them for himself. Or the winner was the one whose egg rolled farthest.
I must say that in Russia eggs were rolled not only on Easter, but also on Ascension, Trinity, Spirits Day and Peter’s Conjuration, that is, it was a widespread tradition, alas, forgotten in our days.
In Russia they also loved to fight with painted eggs on Easter. Most often they fought with both ends of the egg – with a sharp toe and a blunt heel. One participant in the battle was holding his dye in his hand, and the other hit it with his egg. The winner was the one whose egg remained intact after that and took the broken trophy of the enemy. If each had an egg, broken only on one side, then each received half. One whole egg could be exchanged for 3 broken ones. The whole point was that Easter dyes passed from hand to hand.