This sounds strange, but there are several places on earth where once a year some foods are not used for their intended purpose, but become participants in various competitions.
Orange battle / La battaglia delle arance
Location : Ivrea, Piedmont Region, Province of Turin, Italy
When: Great Lent
On the last Sunday on the eve of Lent, a three-day spring festival begins, culminating in the battle of oranges. According to legend of the XII century, the daughter of a local miller named Violetta stabbed the duke, who wished to exercise his right to the first wedding night. But when the guards came for a proud girl, the townspeople threw stones at them, not allowing Violetta to be captured.
In the modern version, it looks like this. Trucks appear on the square with local students dressed in medieval armor and helmets, and 9 teams of oranchers throw oranges on them. The winner is identified by a special commission.
Spectators can watch, wearing red caps that prohibit throwing oranges both to them and in them, or, changing them to orange, also take part in the battle.
After a cheerful battle, hundreds of people turn to doctors with bruises and concussions, since this is not a harmless task at all.
When it’s over, they jointly clean the area from the broken “shells”. Then Violetta drives out in the carriage, the role of which is chosen by the most beautiful girl, and presents participants and spectators with mimosas and sweets. In conclusion, words that have been unchanged for more than two centuries are pronounced: “I’ll meet you next Fat Thursday. Time is the hour of the day.”
Tomatina / La Batalla del Tomate
Location : Bunyol, Valencia Province, Spain
When: last Wednesday of August
It takes place at the local carnival with fireworks and free refreshments, lasting 3 days, and is its final action. It all began in 1945, when local residents threw vegetables at each other near the market. The next year the brawl was repeated, and so from year to year by natural selection, only tomatoes began to throw on that day.
As part of the tomato industry, another product performs competitive functions, although more modest. Before the battle, a pillar coated with soap with a piece of jamon at the top is installed on the square of the city. Whoever gets that 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 on the firecrackers clap and ends on the second clap exactly one hour later. But even during this time, a merry crowd manages to scatter up to 150 tons of tomatoes, and the streets of the city are covered ankle-deep with red tomato.
Before throwing, the tomato should be crushed slightly so that it does not cause injury, and do not use anything other than tomatoes for throwing. The windows and windows of nearby buildings are covered with special plastic shields, and it is better to put on clothes that you will not mind throwing away afterwards. It is worth taking a can of clean water with you to wash off the tomato juice.
For the right of the first throw you need to pay out 790 euros, ordinary participants buy a personalized ticket for 10 euros.
Cheese Race / Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake
Location : Brockworth Village near Gloucester, England
When: last Monday of May
On this day, at the top of Cooper Hill, which is located near the village, for 2 centuries, people have been planning to catch a head of cheese, which they let down on a steep slope, 200 m long.
This activity is unsafe, and during the rain it becomes completely extreme, because overclocked cheese can reach a speed of 110 km / h. Participants chasing him fall, somersaulting, 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, starting in 2010, have been taking measures to close this spectacle and even once introduced a fee of £ 20, which caused popular outrage. And not only among locals, because this race today attracts many spectators and participants from all over the world, its 27-year-old American and 39-year-old Japanese have already become its winners. And recently, women can take part in the competition.
Rumor has it that instead of real cheese they are now using plastic, weighing only 3.5-5 kg, while earlier they used to go down the hill with an 18-pound head of Gloucester cheese, for which it really was worth risking your neck. However, today those who came second and third receive cash prizes.
Egg roll / Easter egg roll
Venue : White House, Washington, USA
When: first Monday after Easter
This tradition appeared in 1878, and from that time 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 pans. And after that, the first lady arranges a festive Easter dinner for all participants.
This echoes the Eastern European tradition of rolling colored eggs on Red Hill, the following Sunday after Easter. If there was no hill near the settlement, then they simply leaned a hollowed out or some other groove to the block, and let the eggs down on it. The meaning was that the player’s rolling egg touched those lying on the ground – then he would take them to himself. Or the one whose egg rolled the farthest was the winner.