When Bruises Become a Mark of Pride

It's orange this time!
It’s orange this time!

Whhumm…thud…thud! Plop..plop…plop! You should have come to Italy to hear some similar and thundering sounds everywhere in air. In short, you should have attended the ‘Battaglia delle Arance’ or ‘The Battle of oranges’. Oranges?? Yes, the battle is not about how many oranges you are able to digest but how many oranges you are able to hurl at your target that too with utter precision in a much chaotic zone. You are advised to visit the country next time adorning yourself with a tough armor, you never know who might be targeting you.

The three-day long carnival makes people go crazy out of celebration. Although the festival is full of different kind of insanity, fear, violence it carries with itself a great historical significance. This battle of oranges actually symbolizes the city’s defiance against the tyranny and the tyrants. It is believed that one of the tyrant lord of the city named Raineri di Biandrate who gave himself a right to spend the night with anyone’s bride on their wedding night, was decapitated by a brave bride remembered as Violletta.  Ever since then the carnival got its existence.

The battle, of course, takes place between two teams-one on wagon and another on foot. The “foot” team here represents the commoner who rebel against the tyranny. Whereas, the  eight men on wagon represent the team of tyrants who actually throw oranges at people not less than 500 in number and are reciprocated by each one of them. Only a brave and a tough guy can get on the wagon drawn by horses.  Generally, we don’t hear people incurring major injuries in this festival oops battle, however, people do celebrate their black eye and mark of bruises as an emblem of bravery and pride.

There is also a romantic aspect to the festival, it is believed that during the 19th Century, women started hurling the oranges at the men they used to like and the men used to hurl back if they felt the same way. Thus, along with mark of pride the bruise mark becomes a token of love for the young souls.

On the day of “Fat Tuesday”, the judges give awards to the best performing team and conclude the festival with a solemn funeral. People return back to their homes with few cuts and marks over their body and make a show off all of them to every which friend of them. To give their cuts a wide recognition they have their selfies, with the cut at its center, posted on social networking sites like Facebook and WhatsApp. These people actually compare themselves with the soldiers who fight wholeheartedly for the sake of their nation. The more cuts and injuries you get, the more stars get added to your badge.

Now that you know about the festival don’t get shocked to see oranges flying in the sky instead of birds. And do walk with heavy steps on the orange-smashed roads that add to the festivity. Most importantly, do come in your old outfits and gadgets because ultimately it’s all going to get ravaged.


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