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Empaitada d´Ànecs

It was a popular festival that took place in Roses, Catalonia, Spain.

It consisted of throwing about 100 ducks into the sea, from boats far from the coast, the swimmers jumped into the water in search of them. Whoever caught them kept them. This tradition originated at the beginning of the 20th century, when people were starving and the ducks that were thrown at parties were the food of the families that caught them. In the last years, the participants were asked to return the ducks to the organization. They took them to their farm of origin and there they were slaughtered.

For years this festival raised a lot of controversy, the defenders said that the ducks were well fed days before the celebration so that they would not suffer so much with fuss. Animal rights groups argued the high stress and accidents suffered by the animals.

Finally, after failed attempts to replace the ducks with watermelons thrown into the sea, l’Empaitada d’Anecs was finally abolished in 2016.

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