Every year, in Ivrea, Italy, during Carnival, the people stand up to recall and celebrate the story of Violetta, the miller’s newly wed daughter who was supposed to lay, on her first night as a bride, with the lord of the town, according to an old infamous principle named “jus primae noctis”.
Violetta ended up slitting the throat of her tormentor, igniting the fire of rebellion that took to the destruction of the “Castellazzo”.
THE HISTORICAL RITES
Every year, thousands of citizens, dress up in historical costumes for five days of madness, celebrating the newly appointed “Mugnaia” (miller), marching in the streets, libations, distribution of beans and sausage, and, among other things, throwing each others tons of oranges. The party ends Ash Wednesday with the hand out to the needy plates of maize cod and onions.
THE BATTLE OF THE ORANGES
This is the oldest carnival in Italy, with roots sinking directly in the medieval tradition. There are no masks but historical characters and costumes; oaks, horses and oxen; fifes and drums, .
FACES OF THE CARNIVAL
During the five days of carnival, all citizens wear red phrygian hats, as a signal not to be targeted in the fight although, on the battle field, it’s not unusual to be unintentionally hit by a stray orange (ouch!).