Oranges might be healthy as a snack, but having one bounced off your head isn’t as good for you. The Italian town of Ivrea learned that lesson the hard way over the weekend when about 70 people were injured in a wild orange throwing fight.
Not that getting injured in an orange fight is anything new for these people. It all happened during the “Battle of the Oranges,” an annual three-day event that kicks off carnival season. And the battlers know what they’re getting themselves into: Tickets for the event sell for eight euro apiece—which is apparently the price you have to pay to get assaulted with fruit.
This year organizers say they sold 7,000 tickets, meaning only about one percent of those tossing oranges were injured. And according to The Local, the total number of injuries was down from last year, when 142 people were hurt. Maybe the fruit was riper this year?
Apparently, the orange-flinging tradition extends back to the 19th century, when tossing fruit became part of the celebration commemorating the time the town overthrew an evil baron back in the 12th century. Ironically, since Ivrea is located up in the Alps, oranges don’t grow there naturally, so the town ships in nearly 300 tons of oranges from Sicily every year for the event.
Hopefully no one in Ivrea is either hungry or vitamin C deficient. Otherwise that’s a huge waste of oranges.