Battle with oranges - level 3

Battle with oranges - level 3

13-03-2014 15:00

It could be seen as a massive waste of fruit, but in the Northern Italian town of Ivrea, it’s tradition.

The Battle of the Oranges is every year, and sees people dress up in medieval costumes, some giving out medieval cries.

Legend has it that back in the 12th century, the daughter of a local miller rejected the advances of the town’s evil lord. She cut off his head and set Ivrea free from his tyranny.

The battle is meant to invoke memories of commoners against noblemen with the oranges representing the oppressor’s heads.

In the 1930s, local girls started throwing oranges from their balconies onto the parade carriages to get the boys’ attention. The boys would then throw items back. Within time, it became a duel. And then a real fight. Some 500 tons of oranges are shipped into the Piedmont Region every year to become makeshift weapons. Anyone can take part, you just have to become a foot soldier or carriage crew member.

Difficult words: cry (shouted word or phrase), advances (trying to make her have sex with him), commoner (normal person), nobleman (rich and powerful person), duel (small fight among some people), makeshift (only for a while).

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