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The Battle of the Oranges (Grade 6)

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The Battle of the Oranges

If someone invited you to go to Europe for a vacation, you might decide to pack some clothes, a few pair of shoes, your toothbrush, and a comb. If you plan to stop by the town of Ivrea in northern Italy in February, however, you might want to bring some extra soap and shampoo. Every year, thousands of people come to this small town to witness one of the oddest and messiest battles in the world. It is known as "Battaglia delle Arancee". That means the Battle of the Oranges.

The Battle of the Oranges is a three-day long festival. People travel from all over the world to watch it. No one seems to agree on exactly how this food fight got started. Some believe it is based on a battle between the locals and the nobility in 12th century Italy. Others think it was inspired by an argument between the commoners and the ruling lords in the 19th century. Regardless of how it began, the tradition is being carried on today in very sticky ways.

To prepare for the battle, 57,000 crates of rotten oranges are ordered from Sicily. These oranges were scheduled to be thrown away. Now they have a new purpose. People divide up into teams. Each team wears their own type of wild and colorful uniform. Those wandering around with red hats on are there just to watch, so no one throws fruit at them.

During the battle, one team rides in a horse-drawn carriage. It is filled with oranges. The other team is on the ground. When the signal is given, the teams begin tossing the stinky, sticky fruit at each other. When the throwing is done, judges decide who had the best aim, who wore the most unusual uniforms, and who managed to avoid running into the horses.

Once the battle is over, the city celebrates with a big parade. Then, visitors go home and the real work begins. More than 100 people come into the city. They are there to clean up the incredible mess left behind. Soon, all traces of the battle are over-until February returns again next year.
1. 
What would make the best title for this passage?
  1. An Ancient Argument
  2. A Trip to Europe
  3. A Mess to Clean up
  4. An Italian Sticky Battle
2. 
Which detail would fit best with the main idea of paragraph three?
  1. Where Sicily is located on the
  2. How the team members are chosen
  3. Why oranges are used instead of other fruit
  4. What the visitors, red hats look like
3. 
What is the main idea of the first paragraph?
  1. An unusual battle that takes place in Italy
  2. What to pack when going on a long trip
  3. The legend behind the fruity festival
  4. Where all the rotten oranges come from

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