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Showing posts from January 13, 2016


Christmas has already raced past, which means that you’ve probably already begun the obligatory handful of days with your extended family. You’ve ‘been there and done that’ so many times you could literally write the script of what’s going to happen each year – including the usual cast of characters who never fail to make a repeat performance of what they did last year.    But in case Aunt Stephanie is running late and you’ve forgotten how she behaves with her gin – or in case your house is still a shambles from Uncle Jimmy’s rampage of yesterday, and you need reassurance that your weird family isn’t alone – here are the 10 people who are bound to make an appearance every year at every family’s Christmas party.

10. The Pouter

The pouter is usually a child under the age of 10, but occasionally it’s an emotionally stunted, spoiled adult. This person spends the entire evening impatiently waiting for present-opening time and complains about every event that precedes it. “Can’t we open p…


The Battle of the Oranges is a carnival and festival in the Northern Italian city of Ivrea, which includes a tradition of throwing of oranges between organized groups. It is the largest food fight in Italy.

History of the Festival

    The festival's origins are somewhat unclear. A popular account has it that it commemorates the city's defiance against the city's tyrant, who is either a member of the Ranieri family or a conflation of the 12th century Ranieri di Biandrate and 13th century Marquis William VII of Montferrat. This tyrant attempted to rape a young commoner (often specified as a miller's daughter) on the eve of her wedding, supposedly exercising the (possibly fictional) droit de segneur. His plan backfired when the young woman instead decaptated the tyrant, after which the populace stormed and burned the palace. Each year, a young girl is chosen to play the part of Violetta, the defiant young woman.

    Every year the citizens remember their liberation with th…