The flour war of Ibi
Ibi is not the name of the girlfriend of E.T. but the name of a spanish village where, each year, a particular war is organized. The war of flour is a tradition and it was declared as regional tourist interest in 2009.
You may wonder where is Ibi ? Well, it is part of the Alicante province so located inside the Autonomous Region of Valencia. If you can’t still figure out, look in google maps, it will be easier :-)
Let’s go back to this war called the “enfarinats” (the floured guys), also known as “justícia nova” (new justice), is a festival celebrated on december 28 each year as part of celebrations related to the day of the
innocents and only citizens and friends can participate. No one knows when this festival appeared the first time, people stopped to celebrate it at the end of the 50’s and it was only in 1981 that this tradition was back.
The principle is quite simple, it is a battle with vegetables, firecrackers and flour between 2 satirical groups fighting for the political power of the village. In fact, it starts the night before with the “amantats” who are only married men simply dressed with a blanket and meanwhile they go for a drive inside a van, they criticize funly on some political facts at each stop.
Then, at the morning, they call themselves the enfarinats. They are dressed in an eccentric way with old fashion clothes, mended and strong colors and they wear a hat with a face totally painted.
During this day, they represent the political power of the village so one is the mayor, one is the judge, one is the secretary, one is the sheriff… Around 8h, the local authority gives them the staff of office but some people don’t agree about that, they call themselves the “oposición” (opposition).
From this moment, there is a fight of power between the 2 groups at the church square. The fight consists to throw tomatoes, vegetables, flour, talcum powder and firecrackers. If someone is enough crazy to cross the square at this time and if he/she dares to disobey the orders of the floured guys, she/he will get out of the square totally coated in flour and egg. So if you will be there on december, think twice before !!!
Like you can guess, the opposition group will lost the battle and all of them will have no choice than to withdraw until the stairs of the church. At this moment, the “tapats” (women dressed with capes and masks and painted with many colors, generally they are the wife of the enfarinats) will make a temporary peace contract with the opposition because it will be the lunch time.
After eating typical and traditional foods, the tapats will end this war with the last act called “dança” (dance) and, of course, with more flours. For this part, everyone can participate, always and when people are well dressed. Ultimately, in the night, the village is plunged into a floured chaos, for what the enfarinats will give up their power.