Carnaval de Binche, Belgium

Photo © Marie-Claire Lefabure

Ever heard of a one-way food fight? Where willing victims gather to be pelted by citrus fruit, with no option of hurling the pulpy projectiles back at their attackers.

That is what happens each year on Shrove Tuesday, in the small Belgian town of Binche.

The Carnaval de Binche is one of Europe’s weirder carnivals, in which local men strut around in green-goggled and moustachioed masks and huge ostrich-feathered headdresses.

The men, known as Gilles, brandish batons to ward off evil spirits while alongside them walk attendants, carrying baskets of oranges.

And then the Gilles start randomly bombarding onlookers with the oranges.

The tradition began as a way of blessing the forthcoming summer. And the fruit itself? It’s a gift – so don’t even think of throwing it back!

Written by - Photo by Marie-Claire Lefabure

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