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FANTASTIC FESTIVAL – The Grape Throwing Festival, Spain

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The Grape Throwing Festival or Festa des Vermar is an annual event, held during the last weekend in September, in the wine-growing village of Binissalem in Mallorca, one of Spain’s Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. The festival celebrates the grape harvest and the main attractions include a grape-stomping competition, grape-throwing fight, and lots of fun, which attracts thousands of visitors every year. It is said that, the origin of the festival is dated back to the Roman period, when it was introduced as a way to get rid of the bad grapes before the winter. Since the locals were not very sure about what to do with the grapes that are not good enough to make good wine, they started to throw them at each other for making fun. The tradition stuck, since they found that, it is perhaps the best way to get rid of the bad grapes and at the same time make a lot of fun as well.

The Grape Throwing Festival

The Grape Throwing Festival

The Grape Throwing Festival, started as a harvest celebration, lasts two continuous weeks with almost daily fights. It also includes grape-treading competition and certainly, lots of wine. Every year, the participants assemble in the central square of the village and wait for the organizers to fire a rocket. With the said starting signal the crowd follows the traditional piper out into a field outside the village and gathers around a large heap of grapes. At a whistle blow, everyone starts the messy fight by throwing grapes at each other. Following the funny fight, all visitors are invited to taste some of the wines in the town square and the whole event culminates in a grand party.

The Grape Throwing Festival

The Grape Throwing Festival

The Grape Throwing Festival

This festival is the only grape throwing festival in the world. Initially, only the locals could join it. But it gained huge popularity after the restriction was withdrawn. Manto Negro, a special variety of grape, which is used for the local wines, is cultivated only in Mallorca, and now one can get this delicacy during the festival in the village itself. Today, many people take the direct flight to Mallorca to join this yearly feast. Others start out from Valencia or Barcelona and take the ferry to the island from there.

The Grape Throwing Festival

The Grape Throwing Festival

Dibyendu Banerjee
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.

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