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Orange Throwing Festivals

Updated on February 18, 2013

February is the Month for Throwing Oranges

A festival that includes throwing of oranges? Not just one, but three! I remember the Belgian festival below because my heritage is from there but in my research, I found that there are actually three festivals, all in February, in which oranges are thrown. One of these is an actual orange battle. I thought that this was more than a coincidence and very interesting.

Please read on and learn about all three festivals. One of these is in Ivrea, Italy; the second in Binche, Belgium; and the third is in Georgetown, Malaysia.

I hope you enjoy your travels through this website and please leave some comments below.

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Creative Commons Photo Credit

Thank you Squid Monsters!

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Carnival of Ivrea Italy - The Battle of the Oranges

The most popular orange-throwing festival is the Carnival at Ivrea, Italy. This takes place 40 days before Lent and around the middle of February.

The history of this battle goes back to the Middle-Ages when beans were used instead of oranges. The fights occurred twice a year and were a result of the feudal lords giving a pot with beans to poor families. The lords threw the beans on the ground so it made the poor families angry and fighting by throwing of beans ensued.

Oranges were substituted for the beans in the middle of the 19th Century and battles are very traditional, with costumes, wagons, etc.

In the images below, it shows how the celebration is started with a parade and then the oranges start flying.

Ivrea, Italy

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Ivrea, Italy:
Ivrea, Italy

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Four horse carriage taking part in the orange-battle

battle of the oranges
battle of the oranges

Parade of the horse-cars taking part in the orange battle

battle of the oranges
battle of the oranges

The Orange Tree - A Very Old English Ballad

Munitions For the Day of Fighting.

battle of the oranges
battle of the oranges

The Annoying Orange - I know some people like this!

battle of the oranges
battle of the oranges
battle of the oranges
battle of the oranges
battle of the oranges
battle of the oranges
battle of the oranges
battle of the oranges

Do Your Remember This Commercial?

battle of the oranges
battle of the oranges

The Annoying Orange in the Fruit Bowl

battle of the oranges
battle of the oranges
battle of the oranges
battle of the oranges

Carnaval de Binche, Belgium

The second orange throwing festival takes place in Binche, Belgium. The Carnaval de Binche takes place three days before Lent so it coincides with the festival at Ivrea, Italy.

This carnival, dates back to the 1300's and is very colorful with its different costumes.

The main participants in the event are the "Gilles" who are local men that are chosen by the townspeople. These "Gilles" start the day by eating oysters and champagne at 4am and then they march through the streets, wearing wax masks and costumes.

When they get to the Town Hall, they remove their masks and celebrate. Later in the day, they get in groups again and stamp the stone streets with their clogs, beat drums and then shake rattles together made of bundled sticks. This ritual is to drive off evil spirits.

In the middle of the afternoon, they then put on huge ostrich hat and then join a parade and throw oranges at the crowd.

Children also wear colorful costumes and families celebrate.

The parties continue well into the night with fireworks, bonfires and much rowdiness and intoxication.

Binche, Belgium

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Binche, Belgium:
Binche, Belgium

get directions

carnaval binche
carnaval binche
carnaval binche
carnaval binche
carnaval binche
carnaval binche

The Annoying Orange in Best Friends Forever

carnaval binche
carnaval binche

Oranges in Hand!

carnaval binche
carnaval binche

The Aftermath

carnaval binche
carnaval binche

Have You Ever Heard of Any of These Festivals?

Is this your first experience with an orange-throwing festival?

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Georgetown, Malaysia - Chap Goh Meh and the Orange Throwing Festival

The third orange festival is in Georgetown, Malaysia and is called, "Goh Meh" and on the Chinese Lunar calendar, is celebrated on the 15th night of the first month. This occurs in late February to early March.

Orange-throwing is the highlight of this festival and the hurlers are the local girls, who throw the oranges into the sea in the hopes that a future mate might catch them. In some instances, the girls will write their phone number or wishes so they can be contacted. In most recent years, the girls are even writing their Facebook ID on them.

Women are the only ones throwing oranges in hopes that the men would like them and approach them about marriage.

Georgetown, Malaysia

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Georgetown, Malaysia:
Georgetown, Malaysia

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Georgetown

Georgetown Orange Throwing Festival
Georgetown Orange Throwing Festival

The Annoying Orange in The Dating Game

"Orange" You Glad You Stopped By? - Please eat your oranges, don't throw them at me

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    • profile image

      pawpaw911 

      6 years ago

      That looks like fun. I think in my younger days, I could have hurt someone.

    • tvyps profile imageAUTHOR

      Teri Villars 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @Herman IV: Point taken...but tomato throwing would be much more messy!

    • tvyps profile imageAUTHOR

      Teri Villars 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @AnnaAdam LM: Yes, I think it was a waste. I wouldn't participate myself

    • tvyps profile imageAUTHOR

      Teri Villars 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @Lindrus: Agreed!

    • profile image

      Lindrus 

      6 years ago

      Very interesting lens, but I feel bad about wasting that many oranges...

    • AnnaAdam LM profile image

      AnnaAdam LM 

      6 years ago

      Lens is nice. But don't you think it wasted fruit in bulk.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      I love Annoying Orange. And it does seem like this would be quite the painful festival. But a fun lens. Great job.

    • Herman IV profile image

      Herman IV 

      6 years ago

      Enjoyed the lens! Seems the oranges would be a bit painful (tomato throwing perhaps a little less). Loved the lens.

    • profile image

      VillaDejaBlue 

      6 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 

      6 years ago

      Great lens. Thanks!

    • profile image

      macsquared 

      6 years ago

      Fun lens! I love learning about the world!

    • JohnMichael2 profile image

      JohnMichael2 

      6 years ago

      nice lens ... bad waste of food

    • profile image

      im1337mi 

      6 years ago

      Crazy stuff! Very cool.

    • profile image

      CanterPR 

      6 years ago

      really cool. Thanks!

    • profile image

      myamya 

      6 years ago

      Very nice lens well done! squidlikes!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 

      6 years ago

      Yes.. thanks for introducing this interesting thing to us! Throwing oranges!!!??? Wow! Blessed!

    • profile image

      ptnjust007 

      6 years ago

      good lens

    • wheresthekarma profile image

      wheresthekarma 

      6 years ago

      Wow I had never heard of this before, REally interesting lens!

    • tvyps profile imageAUTHOR

      Teri Villars 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @LiteraryMind: I know, it is wasteful. My Mother was in Belgium during the German occupation and talked about the scarcity of food. Maybe the people they throw at try to catch and eat them! ha!

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 

      6 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I would not have thought of an orange throwing festival in Belgium. I don't picture Belgium as growing oranges,ergo would think that years ago they were a scarce commodity -- not to be wasted. Very interesting lens.

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 

      6 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      What a cool tradition! Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Big time! I love the idea of an orange battle! Thanks for a great lens.

    • DelightfulDanie profile image

      DelightfulDanie 

      6 years ago

      Woahh...... how strange...

    • Bonfire Designs profile image

      Bonfire Designs 

      6 years ago

      Who knew!!

    • seeker2011 lm profile image

      seeker2011 lm 

      6 years ago

      I prefer my oranges to eat. Nice lense. Did not know there were so many orange throwers in the world.

    • profile image

      Coopstar 

      6 years ago

      I never knew there was such a variety of orange-throwing festivals. Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      This was fun to read, thanks for sharing it with your readers.

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