The northern Italian city of Trento is holding an annual event that makes local politicians shudder. Tonka is a comical recreation of an ancient torture practiced from the 14th century to his 17th century, in which a man is locked in a cage and he plunges into the freezing waters of the Adige, Italy's second longest river. That's what it means. This tradition is part of Feste Vigiliane, a week-long celebration in honour of the town's patron that takes place at the end of June. While many could probably name a few politicians who have access to swimming, there is a traditional ritual to choosing who deserves this "honour."
The event will be preceded by a public Tribunale di Penitenza (Criminal Court). The spectacle is a comedic satire in which members of the "court" nominate individuals and express their concerns. Some play the role of judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and even defendants.