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Locals take part in the annual flour fight in Ibi, Spain | © Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock
Locals take part in the annual flour fight in Ibi, Spain | © Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock
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The Story Behind Spain’s Annual Flour Festival

Picture of Jessica Jones
Updated: 16 October 2017
One of the world’s most unusual food fights takes place every December in a small Spanish town near Alicante. But what’s the story behind Spain’s annual flour fight? Here’s everything you need to know.
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A man preparing to throw some eggs | ©Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

Background

Every December 28, residents of the town of Ibi, in Alicante, southern Spain, stock up on flour and eggs. No, they’re not planning a mammoth baking session – rather, they’re preparing themselves for the town’s annual flour battle, Els Enfarinats.

The 200-year-old festival takes place every year on the Day of the Innocents (Día de los Inocentes), Spain’s version of April Fool’s Day.

On the day of the battle, a group of men known as Els Enfarinats (‘The Floured Ones’) dress up in mock military uniform and stage a fake coup d’état.

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Locals take part in the annual flour fight in Ibi, Spain | © Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock

The day’s events

Els Enfarinats declare a new wave of bizarre laws throughout the day, while their adversaries, La Oposicio, try to keep order. The ‘Floured Ones’ collect fines from locals who dare to break their new, crazy rules, and all the money they collect is donated to charity at the end of the offbeat celebration.

The coup attempt ends in a giant food fight in front of the town hall, in which participants lob flour, eggs and even firecrackers at each other, until the entire square and the people in it are covered in the white dust.

International fame

The unusual custom has drawn interest from around the world, with some tourists now making the pilgrimage to Ibi to take part in the epic food fight.

Photographs of the event won second prize in the ‘People’ category of the prestigious World Press Photo competition in 2016.

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Men taking part in Spain’s annual flour festival | ©Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock