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Tuesday 16 September 2014

Town hosts three-day fruit fight

Published 03/03/2014 | 15:17

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People wearing costumes and protective helmets throw fruit as part of the traditional Battle of the Oranges in the northern Italian town of Ivrea. (AP)

Thousands of people gathered in a small northern Italian town to take part in a fruit fight.

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The battle of the oranges is the main event during Ivrea's carnival.

Before anyone is armed with their citrus fruits, city authorities carry out thorough inspections of the horse and carts that will be used during the battles, as e ach carriage has to conform to set measurements.

It is believed the festival's origins date back to the overthrow of a tyrant in the Middle Ages.

The three-day enactment sees ci ty residents divided into nine teams. Marco Lupato, who has been a member of the Devils team since he was seven, said: "A black eye is normal... getting a black eye is like getting a medal. Going to a party tonight with a black eye simply means that you threw oranges, it's a pleasure."

The teams of Aranceri (orange handlers) either represent the "commoners" or the "Duke's allies" during the battles. T he Duke's allies take their positions on their horse drawn carriages and battle against the nine opposing Aranceri teams who are on foot.

Prizes are awarded to the top three foot teams - having been judged on their throwing ability, their image and fair play.

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