More on … Not the usual type of Festival

Battle of the Oranges, Ivrea, Italy Holi One Colour Festival

For those EVE readers who like to plan their holidays well in advance, here are some brief facts about festivals which will take place in 2015 and are certainly worth a visit once in a life time.

Battle of the Oranges, Ivrea, Italy, February –

The Battle of the Oranges is one of the main events of the traditional carnival which takes place in Ivrea, a historical town in the North of Italy. The town was founded in around 100 BC as an outpost of the Roman Empire and very likely guarded the region against invading armies which crossed the Alps to reach this area.

The actual origins of this festival have been lost in the mists of time. It is commonly held that the miller’s daughter refused the advances of the duke on the eve of her wedding. Instead of succumbing to the attack, she fought back and chopped his head off. Legend has it that the crowds were enraged at this incident and stormed the palace. The oranges are said to represent the head of the duke and the throwers the crowds who revolted.

The ‘battle’ is often recognised as the largest food fight in Italy. The participants are divided into nine combat teams, who throw over 500,000 kilos of oranges at each other in an explosion of colour.

The war which took place between the people of Ivrea and Napoleon’s troops is also represented in this festival.


Holi One Colour Festival, Month of March –

This festival was originally a celebration for Hindu worshippers to commemorate the beginning of spring and the wheat harvest. It also reflects the mythological stories of the god Krishna and that of King Prahlad.

The Holi is one of the most colourful festivals in the world and today, takes place in a number of cities around the world. Some of the cities participating in this colourful celebration are; Munich, Rome, Bremen, Liverpool, Brighton, London, Dublin and Orlando.

In 2014, it was held on March 17 since it was the day after the full moon. As usual, the event started with the lighting of a symbolic bonfire.

During the morning, participants pelt each other with coloured powder and water guns are used to wet them. Participant are requested to wear white shirts and protective glasses against the sun and the powder which is organic, safe and water-soluble.

This event was also held for the first time in Malta on March 30, in Qormi and turned out to be a great success.