Sunday, January 26, 2014
Spain: Villagers throw dead rats at each other in celebration
Dead rats fly through the air on the last Sunday of every January in the Spanish village of El Puig. The centuries old tradition known as the "Battle of the Rats" isn't for the squeamish, as villagers pelt each other with dead rats as part of a bizarre festival formerly known as 'Sant Pere'. The gruesome game originated from a time when rats would infest candy-filled pinatas during festivals, falling on the startled festival goers once they started smashing the pinata. They would then beat the rodents to death, and fling their corpses at fellow festival goers. To maintain the tradition, 19-year-old boys gather in the village square and celebrate by smashing a pinata full of sweets before throwing frozen rats at each other.