Food fight in Ibi Alicante

White out rather than wipe out in Ibi battles Credit: Creative Commons

In Spain, December 28 is known as Día de los Santos Inocentes (Day of the Holy Innocents) and is the equivalent of April Fool’s Day in the UK or Poisson d’avril in France.

It’s associated with the fact that King Herod ordered that all boys under the age of two in Bethlehem should be executed in order to eradicate the new King of the Jews (Jesus).

Flour power

This has now turned into a fun day, none more so that in the town of Ibi in Alicante which has held its annual Els Enfarinats event for the past two centuries.

Residents dress up in fake military uniforms and appoint a mayor for the day after pulling off a generally bloodless coup d’état.

Needless to say, there is a battle or in fact several battles but rather than using guns and swords, the military might is composed of flour, eggs, fire extinguishers and fireworks.

Fines collected for charity

The new government enacts a number of crazy laws and if anyone is caught breaking them then they are fined, but the money collected goes to local charities.

Prisoners of Enfarinats
Credit: Jose Maria Moreno Garcia flickr

Basically, it’s a free for all although everyone is warned about the dangers of bangers and after the morning battles, the combatants and audience stop for lunch before returning to the fray in the afternoon.

Next they stop for a dance, one more fight and then having cleaned up again, enjoy a celebration with more dancing, some food and drink.

After all of the anarchy of the day, guests are invited to adopt traditional attire for the evening event which should include a hat, cape or shawl.

Yet another unique experience for those living in or visiting Spain

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page