It seems that some countries in Europe are specializing in eccentric events that are attracting tourists to otherwise quiet towns, but these festivities also reveal a lot about local people and their culture. In Northern Europe, Finland is renowned for a football tournament played in marshland. In Southern Europe, Spain has a big fiesta in Pamplona where bulls are harassed, a tomato throwing fiesta in Bunol, and a fight of two teams in Ibi where flour and raw eggs are the only weapons available.
The one day fiesta of flour and eggs in Ibi is known as Els Efarinats. The history of the event is not known for certain. An anthropologist believes its origins could be in Roman times. Ibi revived the tradition in 1981.
The two teams consist of men only. The team of married men have made a coup, and declared impossible laws. It is the other team’s job to chase them away and restore order. Even the mayor participates in the fight.
Els Enfarinats is an annual event on December 28th. The action takes place at the plaza of the church Ermita de San Vicent, located in the old town. If you want to experience the fiesta yourself, be there in the morning. The fight is over by noon when members of the teams move to nearby bars and restaurants.
Ibi is an industrial town of 20 000 inhabitants on the foothills of a mountain north of Alicante, Spain. From Alicante, it is only 30 minute drive to Ibi.
If you are interested in other fiesta celebrations in Spain, Valencia in the same region is renowned for Fallas and other big festivities that take place around the year.
Additional information of Els Enfarinats can be viewed at Ibi tourism web site.