The Enfarinats in Ibi (Alicante). Every December 28, the day of the Holy Innocents
The Enfarinats in Ibi (Alicante). Every December 28thIf you are in Alicante the last week of the year, and you decide to make a small ‘escape’ to the interior of the province, be very careful! If you go through Ibi on December 28, you may find yourself involved in an epic battle, a merciless struggle in which weapons are … eggs and flour!
Yes, you have listened well. Every year, on Holy Innocents Day, the town of Ibi celebrates its popular festival of Els Enfarinats, with more than 200 years of antiquity. An event that has as a central act a unique combat, where two sides – the ‘flouted’ and ‘the opposition’ – fight symbolically for the city’s civilian leadership. Vegetables, flour, eggs and firecrackers are the weapons of these revolutionaries.
In the battle only married men – the same ones every year – participate, extravagantly dressed, in old clothes, patched and with bright colors. They all wear a hat and face painted, and in this outfit they battle through the streets while the rest of the citizens encourage them.
The party starts the night before, on December 27, when these two groups of rivals travel through the town, making stops and amusing the neighbors with political and social criticism about the most outstanding events of the year that ends. On this eve, they are called ‘amantats’ and wear only a blanket over their shoulders.
A party with its own mayor
At dawn on the 28th, Ibi becomes the world upside down. The whole town participates in the party and enjoys a unique tradition in the world. The municipal government makes a symbolic transfer of power to the Burlesque City Council and the fight begins.
As in all representation, fictitious political positions are established. There is the mayor, the highest authority of the party, wearing a top hat to differentiate himself from the rest. Porta also a funny stick with onions, garlic and other vegetables.
The Judge and the Secretary carry a large mace for the trials and a book where they write down the fines they impose on the population. And is that these ‘floured’ are engaged in collecting taxes in all shops and banks of the town, and anyone who does not comply with their particular law, will not get rid of its penalty! A delegation led by the mayor is the one who imposes justice is this day of madness where he sends fun, friendship and twinning among neighbors.
For their part, the Marshals are responsible for carrying the keys to the ‘prison’, to sound the horn and the drum to announce the sides, to carry pyrotechnics and flour for those who are arrested and to carry the ‘Aixavegó’, a Network with which they capture those who do not pay the fines.
In the pitched battle, about a thousand dozen firecrackers explode in the center of town, in little more than an hour. And poor of all that pass by, for surely it will end up bathed in flour and egg. Of course, fun and laughter are assured.
From the Alicante Bus Station, which is located very close to the Alojamiento turístico La Milagrosa, BeAlicante headquarters, you have daily buses to Ibi, so you do not get too close to the enfarinats.