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Grade 10, English, Unit 2, Reading I, Battle of Oranges Exercises


 Grade 10, English, Unit 2, Festivals and Celebrations Exercises Battle of Oranges

Grade 10, English, Unit 2, Festivals and Celebrations Exercises

Reading I

Battle of  the Oranges  

All I can see is a flash of orange, then I am hit in the chest. It knocks my breath away. I slide backwards, fall bum-first in a pile of orange mush. What the heck! I touch my head: my red hat is still there.


The speaker was hit with an orange during the Battle of Oranges festival. The impact of the orange knocked them backward and he fell onto a pile of squished oranges. Despite the impact, his red hat stayed on their head.


During the carnival, official public notices are plastered on the walls around Ivrea, ordering people, especially tourists, to wear a red hat. Or else they can be considered a 'fair target for gentle and moderate orange-throwing'.


During a specific carnival in Ivrea, Italy, signs are put up on walls telling people, especially visitors, to wear a red hat. If they don't wear a red hat, they may be hit by oranges thrown by participants in the carnival.


The red hat people are ordered to wear is not just any hat. The berretto frigio, a sock-shaped hat sold on every street corner, is the symbol of the carnival itself. It is a symbol of freedom; worn in Roman times by freed slaves. During the Middle Ages it was on the heads of peasants rioting against feudal lords.


The red hat that people are told to wear during the carnival is called the berretto frigio. It is a sock-shaped hat that is sold on every street corner in Ivrea. This hat is important because it is the symbol of the carnival itself. The hat is also a symbol of freedom because it was worn by freed slaves in ancient Roman times. In the Middle Ages, peasants who were protesting against feudal lords also wore this hat.


Back on my feet, I make sure my hat is on, and visible. I want to get another look, but soon I am hit again on my forehead. My head jerks back, I wipe my face, oh my goodness, it's blood! I am going to need stitches, maybe it's a concussion!


Then I remember blood oranges.


After getting hit and falling down, the narrator stands up and checks his hat is still on and can be seen. However he gets hit again and this time it causes bleeding and pain. The narrator thinks that he might need medical attention, but then he understands the concept of blood oranges.


Shivering from the quick succession of shock and relief, I retreat to the back of the square, away from any flying fruit. This is the first of three yearly battles; everybody is fresh and excited from a year-long wait. Nine teams of aranceri (orange-throwers) on foot, wearing uniforms, hurl oranges at their opponents on horse-drawn carriages, clad in Doctor Whoesque costumes with padded shoulders and leather-covered cylindrical helmets. An hour into the battle, the square is covered in a thick sludge, mixture of orange pulp and horse manure. It smells sharp, sweet-and-sour.


After being hit by an orange, the narrator retreats to the back of the square to avoid getting hit again. This is the first of three annual battles and everyone is excited for it. Nine teams of people called "aranceri" are throwing oranges at each other. The aranceri are on foot and wear uniforms, while their opponents are on horse-drawn carriages and wear costumes like those from Doctor Whoesque. After an hour, the square is covered in a mixture of orange pulp and horse manure that smells strong and sweet-and-sour.


Aranceri on foot rush back and forth, to the sides of the square stacked with orange crates, filling their shoulder bags and baggy tops. As soon as a cart approaches, they charge, bombarding it with oranges.


Aranceri on foot are rushing around the square picking up oranges and filling their bags and clothes. When a horse-drawn cart comes by, they attack it with the oranges they have collected.


Horses halt, for a few minutes; oranges explode, then the cart takes off again, the aranceri chase it for a while, hurling the last of their supplies. They wear no protection, and walk around with their hair caked in orange bits, juice running down their faces. Some have broken noses, some clutch a side of their face, arms or ribs. They hold their heads high, shouting their team's war cries.


The horses stop and oranges are thrown, then the cart starts moving again and the orange-throwers chase after it and throw the remaining oranges. They do not have any protection and end up covered in orange bits with juice running down their faces. Some of them are injured, but they continue shouting for their team.


"This is the moment we wait for all the year," says Silvia, holding an orange cut in half on her right eye. "I'll be happy to have a black eye tomorrow."


She sits with me, sipping a glass of mulled wine. "I think carnival is good for our psychological health. During these three days I can let it all out, all the frustrations I have built up during the year. Afterwards I feel refreshed. Of course, accidents happen" she adds, pushing the orange on her swollen eye, "but you should try, it's good for you".


Silvia says that the orange-throwing carnival is the most exciting moment of the year. She holds an orange on her right eye that she cut in half. Silvia also thinks that participating in the carnival is good for mental health. It allows people to release their frustrations and feel refreshed afterward. Even though accidents may occur, she still recommends trying it out. Silvia sips on mulled wine while chatting with the person.


I am curious to know what it feels, I admit. I keep thinking I am wearing a hat, and the public are not supposed to join in the battle. Even so, that doesn't seem to stop hat-wearers from throwing the occasional orange. To prevent further trouble, volunteers advise the public to stay behind protective nets.


The narrator is curious about how it feels to participate in the orange battle, but he is aware that the spectators are not supposed to join in because he is wearing a hat. However, some people with hats still throw oranges. To avoid getting hit, the volunteers suggest that the spectators stay behind protective nets.


"Forget the nets" says Massi, an arancere of the Morte team, with a gigantic skull on the back of his orange-stained uniform, "if you want to live the carnival, you have to be in the middle of the battle."


Massi, a member of the Morte team who throws oranges, says that if you really want to experience the carnival, you should be in the middle of the battle and not behind protective nets. He suggests that the nets should be forgotten to fully enjoy the festival.


"Aren't you afraid of getting hurt?"


Massi laughs. "If you compare the risk to the rush you get, a black eye is a small price to pay."


He fills his top with oranges. A cart is approaching. "Come on, throw your red hat away and come with me".


I am tempted, but I decline.



Flash:               a sudden burst of light or a quick momentary impression.

Bum-first:          falling backward and landing on the buttocks first.

Mush:               a soft, wet, pulpy mass.

Heck:                an expression of surprise or confusion.

Plastered:         covered or smothered.

Symbol:            a sign or representation of something.

Freedom:          the state of being free or unrestricted.

Rioting:             taking part in a violent public disturbance or a riot.

Feudal:             relating to or characteristic of the feudal system.

Jerks:               sudden, sharp, and quick movements.

Concussion:      a temporary loss of consciousness caused by a blow to the head.

Shivering:          trembling or quivering.

Succession:      a series of events or people following one another in order.

Retreat:             moving back or withdrawing from a place or situation.

Hurl:                 throw (something) with force.

Opponents:       a person or team that is competing against another in a contest or game.

Clad:                 clothed or dressed.

Sludge:             a thick, soft, wet mixture of mud, dirt, or any other substance.

Pulp:                 a soft, wet, shapeless mass of material.

Stacked:           arranged in a neat pile or stack.

Crates:              a large wooden or plastic container used for storage or transport.

Baggy tops:       loose-fitting upper garments.

Bombarding:      attacking with bombs or missiles.

Explode:           burst or shatter violently.

Clutch:              grasp or seize (something) tightly or eagerly.

Sipping:            drinking slowly.

Mulled:              heated and spiced.

Protective:         designed to protect or prevent harm.

Gigantic:           very large; huge.


A. Match the words with their meaning.

a. mush                - iii. a soft thick mass or mixture

b. jerk                   - v. to make something move with a sudden short sharp movement

c. concussion        - vi. a temporary loss of consciousness

d. hurl                   - i. to throw something violently in a particular direction

e. pulp                  - vii. the soft part inside the fruits and vegetables

f. clutch                 - ii. to hold something tightly

g. sip                    - iv. to drink something, taking a very small amount each time


B. Write 'True' for true statements and 'False' for false ones.

a. The tourists are informed to wear a red hat through public notices. True

b. Aranceri seem dressed in Doctor Whoesque costumes. False

c. When a cart approaches, aranceri run away from the square. False

d. The narrator feels bored during the festival period. False

e. The volunteers encourage the visitors to join the battle. False

f. The narrator accepts Massi's offer. False


C.Answer the following questions.

a. What does the red hat symbolize?

The red hat symbolizes the carnival itself and is a symbol of freedom, worn in Roman times by freed slaves and during the Middle Ages on the heads of peasants rioting against feudal lords.


b. How does the narrator feel when she wipes her face?

The narrator feels scared and shocked when she wipes her face and sees blood.


c. What does the square look like after an hour- battle of the oranges?

After an hour-long battle of the oranges, the square is covered in a thick sludge, a mixture of orange pulp and horse manure, and it smells sharp, sweet-and-sour.


d. How do aranceri members chase the cart?

The aranceri members chase the cart by charging towards it and bombarding it with oranges as soon as it approaches.


e. Does Silvia enjoy this carnival? Why?

Yes, Silvia enjoys this carnival because she thinks that it is good for her psychological health, and during these three days, she can let out all the frustrations she has built up during the year.


f. Why does Massi say, "Forget the nets"?

Massi says "Forget the nets" because he believes that if someone wants to truly experience the carnival, they have to be in the middle of the battle, and the protective nets would prevent that.


D. You might know about some unique festivals like 'Battle of the Oranges'. Strange festivals are celebrated in many parts of the world. Collect some information about anyone of such festivals and share in the class.


Sure, I know some unique festivals like "Battle of the Oranges" celebrated in many parts of the world. I am here going to talk about a unique festival celebrated in Spain called La Tomatina. It is held in the town of Buñol, Valencia, on the last Wednesday of August each year. This is a tomato-throwing festival where thousands of people gather to throw overripe tomatoes at each other. The festival usually starts with a greased pole climbing competition, where people try to climb a pole to reach a ham placed at the top. Once someone successfully retrieves the ham, water trucks then spray the crowd to start the tomato fight.


The origins of the festival are unclear, but it is believed to have started in 1945 when a group of young people were denied access to a parade and began throwing tomatoes at each other instead. The following year, they brought their own tomatoes and the tradition continued.


Today, participants from all over the world come to Buñol to take part in the festival, which lasts for about an hour. The town's streets are covered in a thick layer of tomato pulp by the end of the event, and participants are encouraged to wear old clothes and goggles to protect their eyes. La Tomatina has become a popular tourist attraction and has been featured in various movies and TV shows. The event also brings economic benefits to the town, as many local businesses and vendors set up stalls to cater to the thousands of visitors who come for the festival.


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