Ivrea’s Carnival and the Battle of the Oranges
The color of Ivrea’s historical Carnival is red: the color of passion and joy, symbol of revolution, power, and danger, red inflames spirits and makes hearts race!
At the end of the famous Battle of the Oranges – when warriors on carts and right below, in the streets, engage in a furious clash using oranges as their weapons – the city center’s pavement is covered with a thick layer of vivid vermillion mush.
The Phrygian caps worn by all participants during the Carnival days is red too: it is the legacy of the 19th-century revolutionary ideals that Napoleon’s soldiers integrated in festivities and rituals that originated in the Middle Ages.
According to legend, the Piedmontese city’s traditional Carnival celebrates the riots that broke out when an untamable girl, the daughter of a miller, refused to let the local duke have his way with her. Every year, a young lady from Ivrea is chosen to represent that girl, the Mugnaia, who wears a red cockade and throws red carnations to the crowd at the end of the parade. All around, the “fife and drum” band wear red jackets, the “Aranceri of death” wear red pants, and the “Devil Aranceri” wear red jerseys…
If you are ready to paint the town red, this year’s edition of Ivrea’s Carnival is February 14-17.