Els Enfarinats Festival

Els Enfarinats Festival
Among other things, Spain is famous for its food battles which are an essential part of many local festivals and celebration. For example, the annual festival of Els Enfarinats features eggs and flour bombs. It is held in the town of Ibi.

Ibi is a small town located in the province of Alicante. It is known as an important center of the toy industry and as the town that hosts the famous festival of Els Enfarinats (the Floured Ones). The festival has been held here for centuries on December 28 as part of celebrations related to the Day of the Innocents. In Spain, Holy Innocents’ Day is a day for pranks, equivalent to April Fools’ Day in many other countries. The Els Enfarinats festival is one of the most famous traditions of this day.

At 8 am on December 28, a group of married men dressed in mock military dress stage a mock coup and take the city under the slogan “New Justice”. They call themselves the Els Enfarinats. They choose the Mayor of the Els Enfarinats and carry out a ceremony outside the town hall where they declare and enforce ridiculous new laws. Those who refuse to abide by the new laws are fined.

Around midday, another group called “La Oposicio” (the Opposition) emerges, trying to restore the order. They attack the Els Enfarinats with flour, eggs, firecrackers, fire extinguishers, and more, A massive food fight ensues, involving hundreds of kilograms of flour and over 1,500 eggs.

The egg and flour madness lasts until about 5 pm. Of course, it’s impossible to determine the winner of the battle, but it is unanimously decided that the Els Enfarinats lose. The order is restored, the ridiculous laws are repealed, and a huge celebration follows. All money collected in fines is donated to charity.

The origins of the festivals are unclear. The tradition dates back more than 200 years, but the festival was abolished during Francisco Franco’s rule which lasted from 1936 to 1975. The tradition was recovered in 1981 and the festival has been held every year ever since. It has become one of the major tourist attractions in the region.

Els Enfarinats Festival

Photo by Luis Seguí




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