April 5, 2010

Scoppio del Carro Easter Festival

On Easter morning, a historic pageant of musicians, flag-throwers and dignitaries (including Mayor Renzi) in colorful Renaissance costume escort a tall wooden cart along the streets of Florence to the Piazza del Duomo. They place it between the main door and the Baptistery , where the 'Explosion of the Cart' (Scoppio del Carro) festival is held.

After the celebration of Easter mass in the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, all the bells ring in unison and the bishop uses the holy fire to ignite a dove-shaped rocket, which shoots along a steel wire from the high altar through the central nave of the cathedral and to the Brindellone outside, starting a whirlpool of fireworks!

Popular belief has it that if the explosion goes smoothly and the dove makes it safely back to the altar, the year’s harvest will be good and plentiful. This year the festival went off without a hitch, so I am looking forward to a happy Spring & Summer!

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